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Divorce filings surge in January

Many Pennsylvania residents make New Year's resolutions, but not all of them resolve to lose 10 pounds in the coming year. Some people may resolve to divorce their spouses in the new year. January is usually the busiest time of year for divorce lawyers, with filings up as much as 30 percent over other months.

Even though Christmas is called the merriest time of the year, it can be stressful, both financially and emotionally. Parents may spend too much on presents for their children; in-laws may overstay their welcome. The stress of this may be too much for couples already struggling with making their marriage work. Many couples choose to make a new start in the new year.

Whether they're divorcing in January or any other month, couples should not rush into a divorce, many family law attorneys say. A divorce filed when a person is overly emotional can result in high divorce costs, and in many cases people should wait until they're in a calmer mood and better able to make rational decisions.

Delaying filing can have its advantages. It gives people more time to ferret out financial information about their partners. This information can be used in setting child and spousal support amounts and handling property division discussions.

No matter the time of year, the end of a marriage is a big financial decision that can often have an impact for years to come. Choosing the right lawyer to handle these matters is important, so people may want to interview several to find the best one for their situation.

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