Some Pennsylvania couples start the new year by making positive resolutions such as getting more exercise or breaking bad habits. However, some couples prefer to use this time of the year to end a marriage they believe isn’t working and transition back to single life. This is such a common occurrence that the first Monday after New Year’s Day is often referred to as “Divorce Day.” However, the annual spike in divorces typically continues throughout the first month of the year.

While the reason for the divorce surge after the holidays may be because of a desire not to go through another year of marital stress, couples should avoid making rash decisions. Barring instances of domestic violence, spouses not seeing eye to eye may benefit from an attempt at marriage or couples counseling before discussing untying the knot. There are also spouses no longer on the same page personally who decide to remain together for the sake of their children.

However, children are often more perceptive than parents realize. In instances like this, couples may be better off ending an unhappy relationship that can’t be repaired instead of subjecting children to a tense home environment. If there are lingering doubts about proceeding with a split, couples may gain important insights about the divorce process by meeting with a lawyer before making any final decisions about how to proceed.

There’s also the possibility that one dissatisfied spouse will take the initiative to serve their partner with divorce papers shortly after the beginning of the year. Should this happen, a family law attorney can offer recommendations on how to proceed legally. A lawyer can also help a served client file a written response to a divorce notice before the deadline is reached. Another option a lawyer may suggest is to issue a counterclaim, which allows a served spouse to make allegations of their own and present requests for divorce terms.