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New year brings spike in divorce filings

It's not unusual for individuals in Maryland to resolve to make improvements in their lives with the start of the new year. For some married couples, this includes a personal resolve to end a marriage that's no longer working. In fact, so many couples opt to kick off the new year by untying the knot that the first Monday of January is unofficially referred to as "Divorce Day" by family law attorneys.

While there are certainly plenty of valid reasons to end of a marriage, it may be wise for some couples contemplating a divorce to take a step back. As long as there aren't issues with domestic abuse involved, couples may benefit from making an attempt at marriage counseling before deciding whether or not to split. It's possible to put the brakes on a divorce once the process gets started, but couples may be able to save some time and money by making one last effort to work things out.

However, spouses who have been sticking it out for the sake of their children may actually benefit from legally separating. This is because children are often quite perceptive about the state of a marriage. Another option for partners is to explore legal options by getting a better understanding of what divorce actually means according to Maryland law. This can be a particularly helpful step when kids are involved, especially if there will likely be issues with custody.

An attorney can meet with couples considering a divorce to explain the process and answer questions. Legal counsel can also provide advice to a spouse who gets surprised by divorce papers shortly after the year begins. Additional assistance can be provided with property division and negotiations involving alimony and custody. In some instances, it may be necessary to work out arrangements with pets, debt obligations, and jointly owned businesses.

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