January is traditionally a time for new beginnings. Many people set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves, and they begin to turn over new leaves in their lives. During these new beginnings, January is also the time we see the most new divorce filings. If you have been contemplating the idea of divorcing your significant other, but excuses keep standing in your way, then this is the year that you need to let go and move on. Facing fears of moving on can be scary, but it is also the first step of becoming who you will be once the divorce has been finalized and you have moved forward in your life. Below are a few good reasons why it is beneficial to file for divorce at the beginning of the new year:

1. Re-discovering yourself on your own is liberating!

If the new year is a great time to get healthier, get out of debt, or plan to travel more, it is also a good time to open a whole new chapter in your life. If the thought of being alone has scared you and kept you from filing for divorce in the past, then you have been letting fear control your future. As anyone who has been in an unhappy relationship knows, it is often much lonelier to be with someone who doesn’t “get” you anymore than it is to be single. It is time to change! When you decide to move forward with divorce proceedings and suddenly find yourself single for the first time in a while, you find new interests, friends and hobbies that you neglected to pursue in your past relationship. By doing this, you will begin to discover that piece of yourself that has been missing.

2. The longer you stay, the more you could pay.

Deciding whether or not you should file for divorce from your spouse is undoubtedly a decision that deserves very careful thought. However, there comes a time when a decision must be made. If you know it is over, don’t let fear keep you in a bad relationship. Also, the more time that you spend with your spouse, the more money is accrued in your marital accounts and the more you risk losing when it comes time to settle your finances. So while you should never rush the decision, try to remember that the more time you spend in undecided self-reflection, the more money you may be putting on the line in the long run.

3. You know what your income picture looks like.

In January of each year, you know what your prior full-year of income, expenses, and debts looks like. This is especially important if you have income that fluctuates due to self-employment, overtime, commissions, rents, and other streams of income. In addition, you may have your year-end bonus in the bank waiting to help you hire an attorney, move out and move on.

4. Removing toxic people from your life opens new doors.

If your marriage is unsupportive, abusive, unfulfilling or just plain unhappy, staying in the relationship is bound to give you self-respect issues. Many believe that after a while that lack of passion is inevitable and that you are not worthy of affection and love. But that is wrong! You deserve to be in a relationship that is uplifting and positive, receiving encouragement and love from your partner. Once you decide to leave your spouse, you will feel hopeful, lighter and ready for all the new adventure that life has in store for you.

5. It’s a great time to plan for the future.

You may have just experienced your last Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family. January is a great time to think about new traditions. Also, January is the perfect time to plan your financial future – who will pay the Visa card? Will I keep the house or get a new place? Who will get the mortgage interest deduction? What access to funds will I have to start over? Should I take this as an opportunity to further my education? Should I change careers or stick with my current path? What custody, visitation or parenting time arrangements work best for our family? The longer into each year that you wait to make these kinds of decisions makes them that much harder.

There is absolutely no better time than now to begin a new life and a new you. So, if you have been weighing your options and know that you have a second chance during this new year, it is time to use these helpful tips and start becoming the new you!