Each year between the months of October and December, our clients ask us,
“Should I wait to
divorce until after the holidays?” The answer, “It depends on your
circumstances.” Is domestic violence an issue? Is one spouse verbally
abusive and controlling? Is one spouse currently having an affair? Are
there minor children involved?
In the absence of
domestic violence, it’s not uncommon for couples with children in the home to hold
off on their divorce until after the holidays. Often, the thinking is,
“We want to have one more Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah
together as a family before we file for divorce.”
Even when there are children at home, some couples prefer to divorce before
the holidays. They aren’t concerned with the fact that it’s
November or December; they just want to file the papers, get temporary
child custody orders in place, and physically separate. This usually happens
when the couple argues constantly and there is so much tension in the
home, the family needs stress-relief, which generally comes when one of
the spouses moves out of the home. This is common when emotions are raw
due to a recent extra-marital affair.
When Do Couples Split Before the Holidays?
Usually the split before or after the holidays question is posed by couples
with children, even grown children. For example, a couple in their 50s
or 60s may have family traditions that they don’t want to interrupt
during the holidays. In contrast, couples without children are less concerned
with the timing of divorce, and that’s understandable. So, under
what circumstances do couples split
during the holidays?
Here is what we have observed at our family law practice:
Domestic violence: Regardless of the time of the year, victims of domestic violence are often
eager to separate from their abusive spouses.
Couples without children: Since the holidays are so focused on family, couples without children
are not as concerned with filing for divorce at the end of the year.
Couples in volatile relationships: Some couples are in volatile relationships. When there are children at
home, sparring couples can bring peace to their children’s lives
by splitting up, even if it’s during the holidays.
Should you file for divorce before or after the holidays? It depends on
your circumstances and how you feel about filing for divorce in November
or September. To discuss the “timing” of your divorce and
the pros and cons in doing it before or after the New Year,
contact Jones Law Firm, PC to meet with a
Denver divorce attorney.