Deciding to divorce can be difficult. Deciding when to file for divorce can be just as difficult for many couples, especially if the decision to end the marriage coincides with the holiday season.
Couples should consider filing before or during the holidays if they can no longer bear to remain in the marriage. Doing so also means the divorce will be finalized sooner and you can set about on building your lives apart.
If spouses can be civil and on amicable terms, then waiting until after the holidays to file may be the better option for the holidays not to be overshadowed by your impending divorce. Some couples choose to wait to spare children’s feelings during a festive family time.
There are many factors to either proceeding before the holidays or waiting until after, such as:
- Additional Stress: If you and your spouse are able to set aside emotions and arguments for the sake of the family during the holidays, then waiting until the new year to start divorce proceedings will lessen the stress of an already stressful season. For many, however, the holiday season is a very stressful time of year. In this situation, adding the emotions surrounding a failing marriage can make the stress unbearable, and proceeding with the divorce may be the best option for you and your spouse.
- Toxic environment: Each year, law enforcement sees a rise in domestic disturbance calls during the holidays, especially in couples with high-conflict, abusive, or toxic relationships. Despite all other questions regarding proceeding or waiting to divorce, if you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, you should proceed with the separation immediately for your safety and the safety of your children. In this situation, law enforcement and divorce attorneys should be involved. Couples may try to lessen the tension by waiting until after the holidays, but this is often an unsuccessful attempt.
- Children: One of the biggest concerns of divorcing couples any time of the year is the effect it will have on the children, and the holiday season often intensifies those concerns. The wonderment and excitement of the holidays is especially joyful for children, and if you and your spouse are able to set aside your marriage in order to preserve the holidays for this children, then waiting until after the holidays may be better for you. In many cases, however, the holidays bring on more stress, disagreements, and uncomfortable situations for everyone, and the additional waiting often creates a deepening resentment between couples.
- Relatives: Having family members for emotional support during a divorce is an important part of the process to help with the overwhelming stress and sadness of terminating a marriage. If you rely heavily on your relatives, then pursuing a divorce during the holidays can be helpful as extended families come together. If announcing your upcoming divorce while the two families together for the holidays will likely create a contentious situation, then waiting until the new year to file would be a better option, if you and your spouse are able to put on a happy front.
- Expenses: Money is often a factor for most couples and hiring attorneys or mediators and filing fees can be expensive. There may be costs for refinancing mortgages, securing alternative housing, co-parenting classes, and potential support obligations during separation. Adding the costs of gifts, party hosting, and traveling that can accrue during the holidays may be more than some couples can afford. If the risk of financial drain is high for you, then consider filing months in advance of the holidays, or after.
- Convenience: Divorcing during the holidays is often convenient for many couples as there are fewer work demands, lighter schedules, vacation time, and less school and athletic activities with the children.
Whitehouse Station Divorce Lawyers at Tune Law Group Attorneys at Law Represent Clients in Divorce Proceedings
Divorcing near the holidays requires careful decision making in order to do what’s best for you and your family. If you are considering filing during this time, our experienced Whitehouse Station divorce lawyers at Tune Law Group Attorneys at Law can guide you through this difficult time. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation at 908-434-1061 or contact us online. We serve clients in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and throughout Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Whitehouse Station, and Tewskbury.