Should I Divorce After the Holidays?

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 December. 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.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).