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Financial, property division benefits of divorcing early in year

In the legal world, January and February are sometimes informally referred to as the "divorce months." The beginning of the year has statistically proven to be the most popular time for people to seek legal advice about divorce. While the commonly held beliefs are that many couples wait until after the holidays or want to start the new year fresh, there may be other financially sensible reasons behind the increase in divorce filings -- from property division to considering a move out of Massachusetts to a new state.

Waiting to divorce until after the end-of-the-year may make sense for more reasons than just emotional ones. For example, if a spouse receives a large holiday or year-end work bonus, waiting to file until after the end of the year can help establish this income as shared marital property. This means that the divorcing spouse is still entitled to a portion of that income during property division.

Real estate also plays into the situation. Often, the parties end up selling the family home as part of the separation process, and spring is frequently one of the best times of year to market a house. In addition, many people find it easier to move during the warmer summer months, and since figuring out relocation – particularly if there are child custody issues involved – can take several months, it may be beneficial to begin the process as early in the year as possible.

Whatever the reason, though -- property division, wanting to start the year with a fresh slate or any combination of other personal motives – now is the time that many Massachusetts couples choose to take this first step toward a new future. While the thought of the divorce process may seem stressful, a family law attorney can help. A lawyer with experience in divorce cases that range from simple to complex can offer counsel and insight to help the proceedings go as smoothly as possible.

Source:, "Why the new year starts with a flurry of divorces", Joe Cutter, Jan. 17, 2017

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