Most peoples’ attention during the end‑of-year holidays are focused on celebration, picking out the perfect gift for loved ones, and enjoying this festive season. However, for those people who are contemplating divorce at the beginning of the new year, December is simply a month where each day is a countdown to leaving an unfulfilling marriage. Divorce attorneys often call the first working Monday of January each year: “Divorce day”.
On that day, there is a significant increase in the number of new potential clients seeking divorces. Whether you are contemplating a divorce, or concerned that your spouse may be contemplating a divorce at the beginning of the year, these are some actions that you should be aware of during the holidays:
- Saving money. Individuals contemplating divorce often start putting money aside. Divorce by any means can be very costly. Consequently, be aware if withdrawals or money disappears in an unexplained fashion from your established account;
- Medical and/or dental bills incurred while the marriage is intact are treated as marital debt. In other words, these expenses are debt owed by both spouses. Consequently, just prior to divorce, many spouses will undergo expensive dental procedures and/or medical procedures (including cosmetic surgery: hair follicle transplant, the tummy tuck, or the breast enhancement). These may be signs that your spouse is getting ready to exit the marriage and get back onto the “single market”;
- Important financial documents start disappearing. Standard advice from divorce attorneys is for their clients or potential clients to make copies of all important financial documents. However, some potential divorce participants become zealous and start removing or stockpiling privately the originals of important financial documents. Consequently, if tax returns or personal expense ledgers, or business ledgers start showing up missing that may be a warning sign;
- The sudden increase in expenditures. Granted, the holiday season usually carries with it an increase in expenditures. However, if you note that there has been suddenly an unexplained substantial increase in expenditures, it may signal that your spouse is attempting to inflate the standard of living enjoyed by the family in order to inflate their chances of obtaining an alimony award;
- The discovery of a new email account and/or Dropbox account. Spouses who are contemplating divorce often establish a new private email account and/or Dropbox account and dedicate it to their separation and/or their anticipated separation or divorce. Should you discover such an account, you should start looking carefully to see if any emails or documents have been delivered to these accounts;
- Discovery of prepared written inventories of your personal property. If you and your spouse have not been in the habit of making written inventories of your real and personal property, then you should be suspicious if you discover that such inventories have been recently prepared by your spouse. It is standard advice for candidates for prospective divorces to prepare such written inventories; and
- Check your credit report to track and uncover debts or accounts. If you suspect that your spouse may be planning a divorce, then pull your credit report. In doing so, you may discover additional joint accounts or singular accounts set up in your spouse’s name of which you had no knowledge. You may also uncover additional debt for which you were not notified. Either of these discoveries should cause you concern that a divorce may be in the process of being planned by your spouse.
When your marriage or relationship is deteriorating, it is difficult to contemplate that it will end. However, if you do believe that you are in a disintegrating relationship, then it is not wise to act like the proverbial ostrich with your head buried in the sand.
If you discover a number of the above-stated behaviors by your spouse, then you should be concerned that your spouse is contemplating a divorce. If so, then you should seek out a therapist to discuss how to proceed in approaching your spouse. You should also contact the office of an experienced board certified family and marital law attorney to find out what your options would look like in the event that your marriage ends up being one of those which are the subject of scrutiny during “Divorce Monday”.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. If you are contemplating a divorce, then immediately contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312 to schedule a consultation.