After Valentine's Day Comes the Divorce Season
Right after Valentine's Day professional sources say divorce filings jump approximately 40% compared to the previous six months. Why is that? For several reasons. First, the holiday glow has worn off. Secondly, reality has set in with respect to finances and New Year‘s Resolutions, and thirdly, it’s the bonus season for many companies. If everything doesn’t come together properly on Valentine’s Day, it seems to trigger a marital meltdown for many couples.
I was married for over twenty years and worked with my husband on a securities trading floor for most of that time. In the spring after 9/11, the world was a changed place and people viewed their lives in a different way. I was retired from Wall Street, taking care of our three teenage daughters, when one evening my husband came home from work and said he was in love with another woman. BAM! My universe changed.
It was a surreal time - my emotions had taken over my mind. Luckily I was familiar with our finances and knew about the securities and retirement accounts, assets, liabilities, credit cards, bank accounts and tax returns. I was a mess for months but had to concentrate on taking care of the girls, so I slipped in and out of a rational mindset many times a day.
Eventually, maybe four months later after we tried marriage counseling and failed, I started to focus on gathering information, hiring a lawyer and preparing for divorce. It’s hard to take action and make your own decisions about what to do and who to trust. If you and your spouse are getting along (he and I were civil at that point) and you’ve done your financial homework, (I did), mediation lawyers who specialize in helping couples resolve their financial issues can expedite the divorce process. Then you don’t have to spend as much on lawyer fees and a legal representative can be hired after you’ve done the preliminary negotiations.
When we moved through that stage and had a theoretical agreement, I interviewed four lawyers and found one who seemed capable and interested in really representing me. And so the final legal process moved forward and was completed. I stuctured the agreement I wanted, taking into account my needs and the future needs of the girls. Thankfully my ex-husband has honored his part of the agreement.Continued on the next page