August 25th, 2023

Rethinking the Romance: Why August Is a Top Month for Divorce Filings

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August is one of the top months to say “I don’t.” According to a study out of the University of Washington, divorce rates consistently peak toward the end of the summer, specifically in August. Spouses finally realize their family vacation was the last bit of togetherness they can tolerate. Shifting from a busy summer schedule to quieter times with kids occupied in school, or maybe even out of the house at college, creates space for parents to contemplate their future. But there’s a lot that comes with deciding to make the break.

A Few Tips If You Are Considering Divorce

  • Get Your Finances in Order: Be familiar with your financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, property deeds and any other assets and debts. These will help you during the divorce proceedings, but also make sure you understand your financial needs post-divorce so you are ready for the change.
  • DON’T Wait to File: Many spouses who are ready to file for divorce believe they must wait for a period of time before they can start the process. This is a common misconception. Although it can take some time to resolve and finalize your divorce, spouses can waste precious time if they unnecessarily wait to begin working with an attorney to resolve their divorce issues.
  • What About the Children?: If you have children, consider how this change will impact them and try to minimize the stress by attempting to keep as much stability in their schedules as possible, aim to have the two parents’ home in close proximity, and reach out to mental health professionals for support if you or your children are in need of additional resources to deal with the stressful situation.
  • Consider an Alternative to Court: While you will ultimately need to get a court order to finalize your divorce, it is not necessary, in most cases, to have a judge determine your custody and divorce issues. Couples can opt to retain lawyers who can help them negotiate a martial settlement agreement or attend mediation both of which can be more amicable ways to end the marriage.
  • Seek Legal Advice Early in the Process: Consult with an experienced family law attorney before you make any decisions to understand your rights, responsibilities, and the divorce process in your jurisdiction. A lawyer can provide guidance and represent your interests and help you understand the future ramification of any decisions you make.

Looking Ahead, You May See a Spike in Maryland Divorces this October

On October 1 of this year, Maryland will become one of 40 states that allow divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences”.

Under the new law, the process of getting a divorce in Maryland will be simplified, making it easier and quicker for individuals in unhappy marriages to file for divorce.

This law allows couples to seek a divorce based on irreconcilable differences OR have a six-month separation period, where the couple has lived separate and apart for six months without interruption before filing for divorce. The legislation aims to reduce the wait time, expense, and acrimony associated with fault-based divorces.

The last time a change was made to the Maryland divorce law, in 2019, the courts saw a spike in divorces coinciding with the new legislation.