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With the holidays over, many couples will file for divorce

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Many of our Maryland readers have probably heard a number of statistics reported about divorce in America. Probably the most common one is that approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, although this statistic has been called into question in recent years. But, a recent article quoted another common divorce-related statistic: that January is the month with the most divorce filings.

According to the article, divorce filings in January are usually about 10 percent higher than other months. Experts would quote a number of different reasons for this, but most say that once a couple that is going through tough times gets through the holiday season, they are ready to split.

However, filing for a divorce is just the beginning of what can be a lengthy legal process. For most couples, there are a number of issues to address, the most important of which are child custody arrangements, property division and alimony.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is one part of the process that is getting special attention in several states these days. States are re-examining their alimony laws, which some parties suggest are unfairly slanted in favor of women. In Maryland, alimony is a legal obligation for one ex-spouse to pay the other a monthly payment, the amount of which is determined after weighing a number of factors, such as each spouse's income, the former standard of living and the ability of each spouse to earn an income post-divorce. If a court sees a disparity, an alimony order could be entered. Couples considering a divorce now that the holidays are over may want to consider the role that alimony could play in their post-divorce lives.

Source: woai.com, "Holidays Over, January Top Month for Divorce," Jim Forsyth, Jan. 2, 2014

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