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Divorce may be a costly New Year's resolution

The holidays can be stressful with family obligations, frantic schedules and stretched-thin finances. Besides this, spouses who are accustomed to being apart for several hours a day often find themselves penned up in the house together for several days. Texas couples are not immune to the strain, and many decide to divorce after the new year.

The number of people seeking divorce spikes in January. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there is a 25 to 30 percent increase in divorce rates each New Year. That may be because emotions run high during the holidays. Emotional decisions are seldom good business decisions, however, and divorce is basically a business strategy. That means if couples find themselves at odds over the holidays, they should not rush to file until they have reasoned things out.

Besides child custody, divorce settlements include property division. A spouse considering divorce should know what property is involved and if the state where the couple resides recognizes communal property or practices equitable distribution. The way a person approaches divorce is important as well; a contentious divorce could possibly double or triple the costs. Spouses should also consider the timing of the divorce and avoid having papers served during holidays or times like major illness of family members, graduations or weddings.

A lawyer may be able to help an individual file and submit the proper divorce documents to a court. An attorney could also assist in resolving issues pertaining to child custody and visitation, alimony and asset distribution. The lawyer could also work with other professionals to uncover if any assets are being hidden by the other party.

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