The decision to go through a divorce does not come lightly. Many couples have exhausted all options of therapy before thinking about making a permanent split. The holidays are incredibly stressful even without a strained relationship. However, travel, extended family judgments, and disrupted schedules tend to push many people over the edge. January is one of the most popular months of the year to file for a divorce. There is a good reason too, as there are numerous benefits from getting started at the start of the year.
Date of Separation at the Start of the Year
When you officially intend to end the marriage, that is your “date of separation” in which the community property ends. This means that from that date, you and your spouse’s newly acquired property will no longer be part of the community*. Please note that there are certain legal exceptions, but generally speaking, that is an accurate statement. When you start the year with separate property moving forward, it makes yearly taxes a bit easier to calculate. It also helps with splitting assets and debts when you start the year with a clean slate.
Time to Gather Documents
January is a great time to start gathering your financial documents for tax season. Paystubs, capital gains, and all other paperwork that you will be preparing for your CPA are needed for your divorce. Kill two birds with one stone and get all your documents together ahead of the game. You can move forward for the rest of the year with a clear financial picture.
Time to Adjust
After the holiday stress has died down, you only have a bit of time before spring starts to gear up. Allowing yourself time to adjust to the divorce process is helpful, especially if you have kids. Children staying on a consistent schedule with school, friends, and extracurricular activities can help them adjust as well. Many kids report having a difficult time processing a divorce when they were told during the summer or holiday. January gives your children plenty of time to process and cope before the next big holiday.
Don’t forget that the alimony tax changes in 2019. You need to have your settlement agreement processed by the court before the end of the year. That can take several months, so call (858) 736-2411 and lock in your agreement.