The new year often marks a popular time for Maryland couples who have decided that their marriages are no longer working to file for divorce. Many unhappy spouses make an effort to get through the holiday season as a family and then initiate divorce proceedings in January. One recent report recommends that people should consider taking certain steps before they actually file for divorce, if they have not already.

The first step to consider is an attempt at marital counseling. This can sometimes provide couples with the opportunity to save a marriage; while for others it can be helpful to discover what mistakes may have been made in the current marriage to prevent making them in the future. It also allows spouses to move forward knowing that they tried everything to salvage the marriage before calling it quits.

Another important step is to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the family finances. This can include obtaining copies of all tax returns along with statements for checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and even investment accounts. The more complete picture that a spouse has of the marital finances, the more prepared that they will be to go through property division during divorce.

Another good preparation to make in advance of filing for divorce is setting up a preliminary budget. This can help a potential divorcee decide exactly what is needed financially in order to set up a separate household. Preparing a potential budget may also reveal whether an individual needs to pursue further education or brush up on work skills in order to be more marketable in the current job environment.

Other important items to consider that could crop up during a divorce include potential child custody arrangements and which spouse will keep the family home. It could become necessary to sell the family home during the property division stage of a divorce, so this is something that most Maryland residents likely want to think about carefully. For those who do decide that January is the perfect time to file for divorce, making sure that they understand the full legal ramifications of any decisions that they make could be the most important step of all.

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