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Some couples usher in a new year with divorce

A new year often means new beginnings, new resolutions and starting things anew. For some couples, it also means saying goodbye to their marriages. Divorce is often sought during this time of year for several reasons.

One reason is that couples may wish to not cast a negative feeling on the holidays, choosing rather to allow their families to enjoy the holidays before dealing with the issues of the divorce. This may be especially true when children are involved.

Another reason may have more to do with tax advantages that may be gained by staying together legally until after year-end. For instance, a couple going through an amicable divorce may wish to file jointly for the previous tax year and thus hold off on divorce proceedings until the new year. Waiting until the new year also may provide more time for planning while allowing the parties to begin the process in a state of mind that is better grounded and more centered.

Sometimes the marital split is not amicable, yet experts say that a new year often brings about thoughts of change and a look toward having a better year in the months ahead. Many times these individuals seek divorce due to acknowledging their own unhappiness with their current situation.

When marital assets include such items as retirement pensions, real estate and 401(k) accounts, it is a good idea to seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in matters of family law. Even if the commencement of legal action does not take place until the new year, it may be a good idea to go ahead and talk to an attorney beforehand in order to make certain that everything is properly structured and accounted for before the close of the calendar year.

Source: CNN, "In January, 'ex' marks the spot", Sarah LeTrent, January 17, 2014

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