Things to consider when timing your divorce

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Divorce on Friday, December 20, 2013.

People in Maryland have a lot on their minds during the holiday season. A lot of stress can be generated as families make plans to get together and people grapple with the headaches of holiday shopping and traveling. The stress is worse for people in a marriage that is on its last legs. Not surprisingly, the holidays can be a catalyst to push unhappy couples to decide to go ahead and file for divorce.

A lot of people, however, want to try to put on a happy face and sweep the marital problems under the rug for the holidays. The end of a marriage is a very personal thing, so not surprisingly people don't want to talk about their personal problems during what is supposed to be a festive time. Some couples with children put their disputes aside for the benefit of the kids, and try to have one last holiday of togetherness.

Whatever the reason for postponing a divorce, people should also know that January is a very busy time for divorce attorneys. One reason is the aftermath of all that added holiday stress, and another is the fact that waiting until the new year to finalize a divorce could mean major tax savings for some couples.

Not everyone thinks about the tax implications in deciding when to divorce, but for couples with high incomes and substantial assets, having another full year of filing jointly as a married couple can save thousands of dollars. A person's marital status for the entire tax year is determined by their status on January 1, 2014, so couples who think they could benefit financially may want to consider waiting until just after the start of the new year to finalize their divorce.

However, this is also among the busiest months for divorce attorneys, so people who plan to divorce in 2014 should consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible so they can be fully prepared for what the new year may bring.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why Delaying Your Divorce Could Save Thousands," Stann Givens, Dec. 9, 2013