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Start of year brings rise in divorce filings


The New Year is now in full so swing, and, according to some experts, so is divorce season. January has unofficially become known as "Divorce Month," marking the start of an increase in divorce filings. According to a study conducted by FindLaw.com, the number of divorces tends to spike in January, then they continue to rise until it peaks in March.

Experts suggest many reasons why divorce rates jump at the beginning of the year. First, they claim many divorce seekers do not want to be seen as someone who spoils the holidays. To avoid obtaining this image, those considering divorce often wait until after the New Year. Second, many put off divorce until the start of the New Year for tax purposes. Similarly, many wait until end-of-year bonuses are given out so that money may be considered a marital asset during the divorce process.

No matter when an individual decides to get divorced, many legal issues may present themselves at that time. Property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation rights, and child support may all be contested. Though when some think of divorce they may picture heated battles taking place in front of a judge, such a situation does not have to be the case.

Instead, those seeking to dissolve their marriage can choose a collaborative practice. Under this approach, divorcing parties come together to end their marriage amicably. Both parties are typically represented by their lawyer and are surrounded by other professionals, such as divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial experts. With this help readily available, the couple is often able to hash out a divorce settlement that is fair and leaves them on favorable terms.

By choosing this approach, the couple avoids airing their dirty laundry before a court and it takes important familial decisions out of the hands of a judge who does not know the couple. If an amicable approach sounds nice, then an experienced Maryland collaborative practice attorney may be a valuable resource to seek out.

Source: CNN, "In January, 'ex' marks the spot," Sarah LeTrent, Jan. 17, 2013

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