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Navigating divorce at the start of the new year

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Family Law

man standing in fork in the road - AI generated

January often brings with it a surge in divorce filings as individuals seek a fresh start in life. It is not uncommon to have such a new beginning as a New Year’s resolution.

Besides the connotations associated with the new year, people also often pick the first month to file for divorce because the responsibilities of the holidays are past and they may be more financially free, having filed for taxes. As they begin divorce proceedings, there are many factors they need to consider.

Lifestyle

One significant concern in high-asset divorces is the preservation of the lifestyle that both parties became accustomed to during the marriage. Assets, income and expenditures all factor into maintaining a certain quality of lifestyle. It can be difficult going from a two-income household to a one-income one or from being a stay-at-home parent to a working one. However, it is not enough to look at current assets, income and expenditures. Property distribution and alimony impact whether or not an individual can continue to maintain his or her way of living.

Missouri divides marital property based on equitability rather than equality. Judges generally award alimony based on years of marriage and the lower-income spouse’s earning ability and income. However, spouses can negotiate with each other to come to an agreement before the judge steps in.

Child custody

Courts prioritize the emotional and financial well-being of children when determining custody. They consider factors such as the parents’ financial stability, living arrangements and the ability to provide a supportive environment.

Family home

The family home often holds sentimental value. If the divorcing couple cannot decide who gets it, the court will. Sometimes, it may order the house sold and the profits divided between the spouses. They may not be able to handle the upkeep of the house on their own and have to sell it anyway. On the other hand, nesting, where the parents take turns staying in the home with the children, is a practice many consider to offer security and stability.

Reader’s Digest called January the “Biggest Month for Divorce” in one article, stating the month has the unofficial nickname of Divorce Month because there is a noticeable trend of the number of divorces increasing in it. As people begin the process of embarking on a new, unmarried life, multiple considerations come into play.

Ready For A Fresh Start?

You don’t need to navigate a divorce alone. The lawyers at Grant, Miller & Smith, LLC will walk you through each step. It starts with a consultation. You can arrange a private consultation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney by calling 314-492-8878.