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Divorce filings jump in January

The beginning of a new year is a time when many people in Minnesota make resolutions to changes their lives for the better. Some may promise that they will start exercising more, look for a better job or give more time to charitable works. For others, however, marital dissolution may be the change that they had in mind for the new year.

January is typically a busy month for divorce filings. Some family law attorneys and marriage counselors even refer to January as "divorce season." These professionals credit the rise in January divorce filings to a couple of factors, one of which is the desire that unhappy spouses have to make a change towards a fresh start for the new year. The other big reason is that many couples wait until the holidays are over before they officially file for divorce.

Regardless of a couple's reasons for choosing to end their marriage, divorce is a big decision. As a result, couples should take a number of steps to prepare for divorce. A key initial step is to collect as much financial information as possible. This includes tax returns, bank and investment account statements and credit card statements for both spouses. These pieces of financial information can help a person plan for how his or her life may change after divorce.

Another piece of advice is to realize that divorce is an emotionally difficult event. People who are considering filing should speak with a counselor or loved ones to be absolutely sure that they are ready to pursue divorce. No matter which time of year a person chooses to file for divorce, preparation is a vital component to a smooth divorce.

Source: WXYZ, "January has long been a popular month for divorce filings," Lucy Carmel, Jan. 4, 2013

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