While the holiday season fills many people with cheer, it also brings about a fair number of challenges. These could be exacerbated if you and your spouse’s marriage has come to a head. Yet, even if you plan on filing for divorce, you may be wondering whether splitting up during the holidays is a good idea. While it ultimately depends on your circumstances, many couples choose to wait to divorce until after the holiday season ends.
Why some choose to wait
January has received the nickname “divorce month,” since many couples wait to end their marriage until after the holiday season. The reasons for waiting usually boil down to family, finances and seasonal stressors. If you and your spouse have children, you may want them to enjoy one last holiday season with your family intact. By informing them of your decision to divorce during the holidays, you could cast a pall over the season for them. Even if you and your spouse are childless, you may not want to announce your impending divorce, since it can alter the mood of celebrations and conversations.
Adding divorce on top of holiday expenses could put you in a difficult financial position as well. Not only will you have to pay a filing fee and attorney’s fees, but you may also have to account for other costs the process could involve, like moving or mediation. By waiting until after the holidays to divorce, you will have more time to pay off your holiday expenses. And you will have fewer financial commitments to juggle at once.
The holidays also come with unique stressors. For one, there are more parties and family gatherings than at other times of the year. As fun as they are, they can be draining. Furthermore, it takes time and energy to prepare for celebrations and to go holiday shopping. Combined, these events can be overwhelming enough without adding divorce to the mix.
A timeline that’s right for you
If you believe that divorcing during the holidays will add to the season’s stressors, it may make sense to delay yours until afterward. Yet, if you are in a situation that is untenable or unsafe, you may need to file for divorce sooner. A family law attorney can help you determine a timeline that is appropriate for your circumstances.