Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Divorce after the holidays can be good for alimony

The holiday season is supposed to be joyous and cheerful; that is why some spouses who are planning to divorce their partners put the matter aside until after the holidays. It's generally known among matrimonial lawyers that January is a popular time for divorce. After all, filing for divorce after the holiday season can be beneficial to some spouses, particularly in financial aspects such as spousal support.

Residents of Massachusetts may be familiar with the legal matters associated with a divorce settlement. They may also know that alimony may or may not be included in a divorce due to the fact that granting spousal support is based on the couple's duration of marriage, standard of living and ability of the payer. In particular, filing for divorce is a good idea after the holidays because there is more solid financial information available.

Working husbands and wives may get their bonuses and incentives during the first month of the year. In such cases, if a spouse files the divorce papers before January, year-end bonuses may not be classified as marital property, and the spouse who is a recipient of alimony may not be entitled to share in that extra income.

In any case, it is extremely important to gather all year-end documents pertaining to the household budget. These documents include bank statements, credit card bills and mortgage bills. These items will in part determine how the marital property will be divided and how much spousal support will be awarded. All of this information can be readily gathered after the New Year for a clear picture of post-divorce financial matters.

To learn more about spousal support, feel free to stop by our Worcester alimony site. Our firm helps divorcing spouses fairly and equitably divide their marital property.

Source: Reuters.com, "Considering divorce? Good reasons to wait for January," Geoff Williams, Dec. 21, 2012

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