Summer and other vacation periods add stress to families in Buffalo that are already experiencing marital problems. Filings for divorce, in fact, increase in August and March, according to a study presented at the American Sociological Association in 2016. Planning for divorce involves several steps that should begin well before the first divorce documents are filed with the court.
Problems with one’s marriage often grow when a family spends a lot of time together, such as in the summer. Thus, filings increase once the less-structured summer months have gone by and the normal routine resumes in September when the children return to school.
Summer provides a good opportunity to begin discussions with an attorney, financial advisor and family members. This may be the time to assemble a team of professionals and friends to help with this process.
Other practical steps should be undertaken. These include gathering information on who is named on bank and credit accounts and home titles, along with the value of these assets. Credit card and bank statements, phone records, tax documents and other records should be collected.
Summer is also the time to consider the consequences of divorce. Couples may participate in discernment counseling, which helps them decide whether they should stay together or separate. Marital problems worsen if they fester for many years.
Children, however, should not become involved until there is some idea how the end of their parent’s marriage will affect them, and a substantive plan is in place on how the divorce will proceed. There is no generally accepted time on when the children should receive this information. This depends on the specific situation.
Getting legal advice is also recommended well before proceedings begin if a spouse suspects that there is trouble in their marriage, and they are unsure about what divorce involves. An attorney can provide options and discuss their client’s rights in matters such as child and spousal support, property division and child custody.