With the holidays fast approaching, couples in Michigan often set aside their problems for the time being. Many parents who know divorce is imminent do not want to disrupt celebrations for the children, so many wait to file for divorce until the New Year. Even if this is the case, it is never too soon to start preparing.

According to the New York Post, divorce filings begin to increase in January and peak in March, and this is because couples wait until after the holidays. Some do not want to ruin them for everyone else, and other couples hang on to hope that the relationship will turn around during this festive period of time.

For couples who know that divorce is the only answer, Market Watch recommends preparing for it as soon as possible. There are many aspects to not only the divorce itself but also life afterwards, and the more each partner plans the better the results. One of the first decisions the couple should make together is whether to go through traditional litigation or mediation. Mediation is a good choice for those who communicate well and are willing to negotiate, but litigation is often the better choice for complex situations.

Other steps both couples should begin taking include:

  • Organize documentation for assets, debts, investments and retirement accounts
  • Consider what is best in terms of child custody
  • Set individual personal and financial goals
  • Close joint accounts and credit cards
  • Make a post-divorce budget

Going through a divorce, even an amicable one, is a stressful process. Organizing and making plans can help ease the stress, but it is also a good idea to stay emotionally and physically healthy by exercising, meditating and spending time with friends.