Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
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Over 125 Years Of Combined Experience

Is divorce on your list of New Year's resolutions?

Many people spend the holidays with family, reminiscing about the past and keeping a strong hold on traditions. But the New Year is about looking ahead; we make resolutions we hope to keep in the next year and many of us aim to be happier. For some Californians, ending an unsatisfying marriage is one way to find that happiness.

Filing for divorce is never an easy decision, and people often look for the so-called "right time" to actually file. That "right time" can be the beginning of a new year. For example, several high-profile figures have filed for divorce in recent days, from comedian Chris Rock to entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk.

Rock was married to his wife for 19 years and they have two children together. Musk is ending his marriage to his wife for the second time; the couple divorced in 2012 and then got remarried in 2013. Now 18 months later, Musk has filed for divorce again.

Whether a marriage has lasted 19 months or 19 years, it can be a very tense and overwhelming decision to ultimately end it. There are a number of ways that lives can be changed after divorce papers have been filed and served.

Of course there are financial ramifications. Property must be divided, tax status will change and there may be orders for child or spousal support. There will also be an impact socially and emotionally. Daily lives and routines can change considerably, especially when children are involved.

But in many cases, the stress of these changes is not as troubling as the consequences of staying in an unfulfilling or unhappy union. Understandably, it is not unusual for spouses on the fence to make this big decision at a time of year when people resolve to do things that may be difficult but rewarding.

If the decision has been made about ending the marriage, then the next big decision is choosing the process to resolve all the legal issues whether they involve children or the financial aspects. Couples should educate themselves on all the options including Divorce Mediation, Collaborative Divorce and Litigation.

The beginning of a new year can mean a renewed dedication to and focus on personal growth and happiness. If this includes divorce, it can be helpful to have the guidance and support of an experienced attorney who will be able to explain all the options available.

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