Divorce rates increase during January in Texas Panhandle

Updated: Jan. 6, 2020 at 5:12 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many couples might be having issues throughout the year but wait until January to file for divorce.

This statewide trend is also true for the Texas Panhandle.

There are many reasons for doing so, such as waiting to afford an attorney, or because they want to make filing taxes easier.

“I’ve never really asked, but my since of it is, is that with the holidays you know Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanuka, and just wanting to have a happy time. They normally wait until after that to deal with the divorces. I think that when people start the new year it’s like New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to be healthier, it’s time to be happier, and so my since of it is that may be part of some peoples resolutions,” said Stewart R. Werner, an attorney and counselor at law.

Many couples start talking to attorneys during the holidays to ask questions, but they wait for the new year to file.

“It really depends on the case, but if there is children involved there are a lot of questions about custody, about possession, access, child support. If there is property division they want to know whether it’s separate property, community property, what a typical division of those marital assets look like. And there are a lot of questions in general just about the process,” said Joshua Woodburn, an attorney at law.

Lawyers explained that it’s not uncommon for couples to file for divorce, use the 60 day cool off period that we have in Texas, work things out and then reconcile and dismiss.

“Try, you know don’t just make a snap decision because this is a big decision. I mean you are tearing apart a family,” said April Palmer, family law, counselor, mediator.

“It’s easy to make mistakes that you have to live with for some time, if you make those mistakes. So I would advise to at least have a consultation with an attorney before you make a decision to try to proceed on your own,” said Woodburn.

This spike happens nationwide, and attorneys say they see another spike around the summer time, for a different family issue.

“Of course with children you might be dealing more with custody matters, or changing custody orders. I see quite a bit of that in the summer and right after the summer when school starts,” said Werner.

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