Understanding legal options at the close of "divorce month"

Many Massachusetts couples contemplating divorce seek out advice in January and February

January has long been known as a popular month to divorce. A new year means a time for new beginnings. During the stressful holiday season, many people are not ready to face the end of a marriage. Staying together as a family unit over the holidays and taking care of job and social obligations can take priority.

Once the new year begins, however, people contemplating divorce are ready to begin asking questions and exploring legal options. Nationally, divorce filings increase by over 30 percent beginning the first Monday of January. That uptick stays around through March. In Massachusetts, however, most divorce filings take place during March through June. This is likely due to pre-divorce negotiations which begin in January or February and result in a divorce settlement by spring.

Emotional and financial reasons to file for divorce in the beginning of the year

There are also financial incentives to beginning divorce early in the year. A raise, bonus, increased health insurance coverage, and other financial matters may be clearer at the beginning of the year, allowing each party to the divorce the knowledge to plan for future finances. In addition, the IRS considers a taxpayer divorced for the entire year in which the divorce occurred, no matter the date. That means filing early can give an individual time to consider the tax implications of filing as head of household or single before the close of the tax year.

Finally, the improving economic and housing outlook in 2015 might prompt some people in a struggling marriage to consider divorce. Divorce is a significant financial event, one that requires careful thought, and an improved economy can make divorce a financially feasible option.

Contact an experienced divorce attorney

It can take some time before determining that divorce is the right option. Couples often wait for months and years before deciding that the marriage is not working out. Once the decision is made, there is no perfect time to file for divorce; however, beginning the new year with a decision to take the necessary step of divorce can be a good start to a new beginning.

There are many issues to resolve in a divorce, including property division, spousal support, and potential custody issues. Massachusetts residents looking to get a fresh start as newly single in 2015 should contact the experienced family law attorneys at Antonioni & Antonioni Law Office.

Keywords: Divorce, property division, legal consultation, divorce month.