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Deciding when to file for divorce

The question of precisely when to file to divorce is important for many Maryland residents, with various benefits and drawbacks applying depending on the answer. Many individuals know they wish to file for divorce, but are unsure of whether it is right time to do so. They may ask themselves how the news will affect their families, their professional lives, their finances and other similar factors. During the holiday season, deciding when to submit a divorce petition can become even more difficult.

Those deciding whether to delay a divorce filing until after the holiday season or take action immediately should consider a number of questions. For instance, one should ask whether waiting will have a direct impact on the results of the divorce. Different legal jurisdictions value marital estates at different times of the year; depending on when this occurs and the status one's finances, this factor could prove important in deciding when to file. Furthermore, Maryland requires a couple to live apart for at least one year before securing a no fault divorce.

Soon-to-be divorcees often delay their divorces due to familial considerations. Those with young children may intentionally delay their filing under after the New Year begins in order to avoid ruining their children's holiday season. Indeed, sudden news of a divorce can create stress that makes it difficult for a child to fully enjoy their holidays. Pursuing divorce beforehand could also force both parents to share child custody and visitation time over the holiday season, a fact that deters many potential filers.

However, there are various reasons why a divorce prior to the holidays could be beneficial. For instance, a couple that has made mutual plans to divorce but is waiting to inform their children may find themselves engaged in more disputes or might act distant toward one another. Children can often pick up of this type of behavior, which can threaten to disrupt their holidays just as much as a divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Should I File For Divorce Before Or After The Holidays?" Susan Saper Galamba, Dec. 20, 2012

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