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The holidays can be a stressful time for some, as readers in California may be aware. At least one report indicates that this already-stressful time is rarely a good time to file for a divorce from one's spouse. This may because of the emotional reaction of a person who has just been asked to end their marriage in divorce, not to mention other financial reasons.

The report suggests that in some cases in California and elsewhere, a spouse that finds out that their partner plans to end their marriage may react by shopping or spending money that they may not ordinarily choose to spend. In such cases, an individual may find that their soon-to-be ex-spouse spends some, or all, of the assets available in readily-available cash and credit in reaction to the request for a divorce. Such actions can affect the amount of money available to divide at the time of the dissolution.

Other considerations may be important as one chooses the timing of a divorce. Though many couples continue to file taxes as married filing jointly until the divorce is final, there may be reasons to consider waiting until after the new year arrives. These include the ability to review all end-of-year statements from asset accounts and potential employment bonuses. Such information can be invaluable as a person enters into negotiation for spousal maintenance or proper division.

Ending a marriage can be a difficult decision for many in our state to make. When a person decides to proceed, they may wish to consider the timing of the announcement to their soon-to-be former spouse. This can help to limit the effect on decisions regarding finances as the divorce proceeds.

Source: Reuters, "Considering a divorce? Wait until January," Geoff Williams, Dec. 26, 2012

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