Should I File Divorce After the Holidays?

Now that November has arrived, the holidays are officially just around the corner. From Thanksgiving until January 1st, our ordinary lives are suddenly filled with extra shopping, decorating, holiday soirees, grand feasts that put Martha Stewart to shame, and of course, a house filled with out-of-town guests.

For some couples and families, the holidays mean there will be lot of love to go around, but that's not the case for everyone. For unhappy spouses, the holidays can be a very difficult time and when the couple is on the brink of divorce around November and December, they're sure to ask themselves, "Should we file for divorce now, or wait until the holidays are over?"

We'd love to give you a definitive answer to this question, but as divorce attorneys, we know that's not possible. The "right" answer depends on a number of factors, such as whether or not the couple has children, and whether domestic violence is an issue.

If you are trying to decide whether you should file for divorce before or after January 1st, here are some questions that we would ask if you were sitting in our office:

  • Do you have children living at home?
  • Do you have big holiday plans, for example, a vacation or in-laws visiting from another state?
  • Is your spouse abusing you or your children?
  • Does your spouse have a drug or alcohol problem?
  • Would having family around during the holidays help you emotionally if you decided to file now?
  • If you have older children, would they support your decision to file sooner than later?
  • Has a recent affair made living together too much to bear?

Considerations if You Have Children

Often, the decision to wait until after January 1st to file for divorce comes down to whether a couple has children at home. In the past, we have found that a lot of parents prefer to wait until after January 1st to file for divorce so their children can have one last Christmas or Hanukkah together as a family.

When parents can agree to put on a happy face for the sake of the children and get along for a few more weeks or months, then waiting to file can make the most sense. However, not all couples with children can realistically accomplish this.

Sometimes, living together under one roof is like World War III and spouses find it better to file for divorce sooner than later and go their separate ways, and that's okay too. Whether or not you have children, it's a matter of knowing what's better for yourself and your family.

If you are contemplating divorce and need professional legal advice, contact our office to speak with a Nassau County divorce attorney.