While they’re trying to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions, hitting the gym and eating salads, many are also (secretly) visiting a divorce lawyer’s office to see if they want to proceed with a split—and often their partner never finds out. It’s called “considering my options month.”
Just because you're not divorced, doesn't mean they weren't looking into it.
Top New York divorce lawyer, Jacqueline Newman, managing partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, LLP, says there is a massive spike in divorce inquiries during January. That’s when one half of a couple gathers information on what a divorce would look like- without having discussed it with their partner.
There are two reasons January is the time people are snooping around to find how how much a split is going to cost them and how long it will take to finalize.
“The spike follows the stressful December holidays. Couples often consider divorce an off-limits holiday topic,” Jacqueline says. But New Year/ new beginnings and stress-exposed fractures in the relationship coincide in January.”
Following January, actual divorce filings will spike in February when decision/plan/lawyer are in place.
"In my experience I’ve seen in January people want to start the year fresh,” Jacqueline says. “They got through the holidays and say ‘I’m not doing this again.’ They want to see what their life would look like without their partner, they say ‘tell me would that would look like.’ They are looking for information.”
Jacqueline says it’s different than your spouse having an affair and “you’re running to my office.”
“They are feeling it out, the first two questions are always ‘how long and how much?’” she says.
What exactly that means is different for men and women, she explains.
“A lot of the questions following that depend on if you’re representing the person who has the money or is the primary caretaker of the kids,” she says. “Men’s main concern is losing half their money.”
Handling a lot of Wall Street divorces, Jacqueline says the first thing women worry about is “he’s going to take my kids away, he’s going to feed them non organic food, everything’s going to be horrible.”
“They want things to stay as is,” she says.
And if it’s not an affair, why are they seeking out a divorce? It’s different for men and women, Jacqueline finds.
“I think what happens is there is a male/female element, with women there is break down in a communication, they are just done. Baby raising and things are not working. They are being ignored and their contributions are being ignored,” she says. “With men, it’s often that they feel their contribution is not being respected, and the last thing they want to do is talk when they get home. With men they had all these expectations and sex every night and that doesn’t happen. They feel supporting the family financially is keeping up their end of the bargain. So it all kind of breaks down.”