Divorce is a unique and personal matter between two spouses, right? Yes, but it is not immune to seasonal trends and its own ebbs and flows. Late February and early January are known in the industry as peak times for filing for divorce in America.
These statistics are backed by several theories, ranging from New Year zeal to post-holiday reality. As the pinnacle of divorce filing nears, we want to take a look at these trends and offer some good questions to ask when researching divorce attorneys in New York.January marks the start of the upswing in divorce filings, fresh off the reverie of the New Year. This comes, ironically, right after engagement season, which occurs in December. Divorce fillings start to spike in January and into February, most likely due to the post-holiday timing. The New Year is a healthy dose of reality; the holidays are over, spouses want a new start, and they act on that emotional momentum.
While divorce filings are on their way up during this time, the number of clients coming in and asking questions about divorce is also on the ascent. The common reasoning for this upswing is similar to the divorce-filing upsurge; spouses see old habits coming back and may have waited until after the emotionally trying holidays before seeing out a divorce attorney.
We recommend coming to an initial attorney meeting with a series of realistic questions about divorce, custody, and how to best plan for next steps. Lawyers don’t just specialize in an area of practice like divorce. They can also be specialists in certain areas within this complex field. Divorce law can include family law, custody law, international custody, guardianship, and even certain financial situations. Ask your lawyer what her specialties are and how many custody cases she has handles to gauge her experience.
Another set of questions to prepare center around the financial aspects of divorce. This is another intricate area of the divorce process, but even an first-time visit with a divorce attorney can shed light on the costs associated with your divorce. Ask the attorney how he will charge for your case, including hourly rates, retainers, flat fees, and outside costs like financial investigators and psychologists. Asking for the estimated total cost of your divorce is tough, since each case is truly unique and dependent on the level of conflict. But this will help weed out attorneys who immediately lowball the cost or won’t offer ways to cut down costs. Proper preparation for this major step in your life is paramount, no matter what time of year it is.