Psychologists and lawyers alike say that there’s a seasonal flow to new divorce filings. The first week in January is usually a big time for new cases because a lot of unhappy couples will wait until the holiday season is over to file. The next big wave, however, tends to be in August.

Why are there so many divorce filings in August? Some couples will give their marriage one more opportunity during the summer. They’ll plan a retreat or a vacation and hope that being far from the bustle of everyday life will rekindle their romance. Others, especially couples with kids, will let the majority of the summer pass without starting any new conflicts and act just as the kids are about to return to school.

Whatever the reason, it’s wise to take some steps now that will put you in a more favorable position if your spouse does ask for a divorce (or you decide to pursue one yourself). They include:

  • Start making a budget. You need to anticipate your biggest financial concerns before they become a reality.
  • Put money aside. You’re going to need extra cash to start over in a new place, pay for an attorney and more.
  • Find new friends. If you have mostly “couple” friends, it may be time to build up your support system with friends of your own.
  • Make copies of your financial statements. You hope that your spouse will play fair during a divorce. Just in case they’re unreasonable, however, you want copies of pay stubs, tax records, insurance policies, property titles and investment records, among other things.

Finally, start thinking about a consultation with an attorney. That’s the best way to find out more about your rights and obligations following a marital split.