The month of January is a very common time for people to reevaluate their lives. New Year’s resolutions encourage us to take bold steps to a better future, although most don’t last more than a few weeks. However, this time of introspection can be valuable, particularly for those who are questioning the status of their relationship and are considered whether it might be time to file for divorce.

A licensed therapist and author who specializes in divorce says that after people get through the stressful holiday season, there can be an increased feeling that divorce is the best solution and more calls can come in from people seeking advice on whether or not they should start seeking a divorce. At the same time, a divorce law expert says that the best time to start the divorce process is not during a time of turmoil but rather when one is feeling centered and clear about what they want.

The truth is that whether it is January or June, there is no easy time to choose to end a marriage. However, with careful planning and thoughtful discussions, the divorce process can be slightly less painful. This is why many divorce professionals advise taking time to get a full accounting of one’s assets and priorities in a divorce and to consider a strategy for dividing property and figuring out child custody in advance. The two spouses will often have a very different idea of how things should turn out, but it is important to be clear in one’s own mind about what matters most.

Source: CNN, “In January, ‘ex’ marks the spot,” Sarah LeTrent, Jan. 17, 2014.