There's no secret that the winter months can be brutal for a lot of people because of the lack of sun and the gloomy skies. But, it can also be rough for married couples. The University of Washington found that divorce filings pick up in January and peak by March. They peak again in August before dropping drastically in the fall months. Here are some tips on how to cope with divorce during the winter months.

The minute you file for divorce, you need to remove your spouse from power. This means changing your power of attorney and any health care directives you have created. You need to take away your spouse's power he or she has to make decisions for you. If you don't have these documents yet, you will want to get them in place as quickly as possible.

Another good idea is to limit the liabilities you have. Shut down credit cards held in both of your names after establishing credit in just your name. This allows you to become fiscally responsible for your own debt. If your name is on any joint account with debt, you are responsible for those debts, even if an agreement notes your spouse is responsible for payments.

Filing for divorce is a large task in and of itself. You will also need to update your estate documents when you file for divorce. This is another large task. This can be incredibly involved if children are present in the marriage and are still minors.

Close all of your joint accounts at a date determined by you and your spouse. Make sure all checks have cleared first and that any automatic withdrawals or payments have been switched over to the new account(s).

Update all of your insurance coverage. This includes any life insurance, homeowner's insurance and automotive insurance. If you and your spouse share a health plan, be sure to update that as well.

An experienced family law attorney in Ohio can lead you through the stages of post-divorce estate planning.

Source: CNBC, "It's January, also known as divorce month. Here's how to cope," Kelli B. Grant, Jan. 18, 2017

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