January has a wide-spread reputation among attorneys that isn’t pretty. It’s called “divorce month.” That’s when lawyers nationwide see a steady, heavy stream of new clients in their offices that’s up to 30% higher than normal. Most of those about to take this heavy step have just been waiting for the holidays to be over before addressing their marital woes.

Whether you’re seeking a divorce or you find yourself facing one at your spouse’s choosing, it’s important to know how to brace yourself for the changes that are coming:

  1. Get a support network. This doesn’t mean that you should turn entirely to friends or family. Instead, consider getting a therapist to help you work through the emotions surrounding your divorce so that you can approach difficult decisions with a clear head and make practical, rather than purely emotional, decisions.
  2. Get separate financial accounts. If you and your spouse are like many couples, you have at least one shared bank account and a few joint credit cards. It’s time to close those credit accounts to future transactions and begin using only cards in your name.
  3. Get new social media accounts. Your first instinct may be to blast your spouse on social media, but that can look problematic in court. Do yourself a favor and let your current social media accounts go fallow. Start a new account and carefully build a new network of highly supportive people. Make sure the privacy settings keep your spouse from peeking into your new world.

Finally, it’s always smart to talk with a divorce attorney as soon as possible — so don’t wait until the paperwork starts flying. You can gain a much better understanding of your situation by discussing the big picture with an experienced New York lawyer.