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January brings rise in divorce, child custody cases

According to divorce attorneys, January brings a predictable spike in the number of divorce filings. That may be due to spouses who simply cannot bear the thought of spending yet another holiday season with their current partner. For others, the decision to file has been in the works for some time, but they didn't want to start the process near the holidays. No matter the reason behind the decision to file a divorce and child custody case, it is important for Maryland spouses to be cautious in their actions.

Filing divorce is a serious and life-altering step, and not one that should be taken lightly. Many people file based on an emotional reaction, such as discovering that their spouse has been unfaithful, or after a particularly nasty fight served as the final straw. A far better approach, however, is to complete a great deal of planning prior to serving one's partner with divorce or custody papers.

To begin, filing after an emotionally charged period of time can set the wrong tone for the entire procedure. The party who is served with divorce papers may feel that he or she has been blindsided, even if the relationship has been in trouble for quite some time. It is entirely possible to prepare for divorce well in advance of filing, but to also break the news gently once the time comes.

Another reason to avoid filing based on emotions is the very real possibility that things will smooth over and the divorce may not go through. That can leave a Maryland couple with legal bills for a service that they never took full advantage of. In order to have the best possible divorce or child custody outcome, it is important to be certain that moving forward with legal action is the absolute best course of action.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Divorce lawyers: 30% more couples terminate their marriage after the holidays", Quentin Fottrell, Jan. 4, 2017

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