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4 Reasons to Delay Divorce Until After the Holidays

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

You really don't want to sit through another dinner with your in-laws and you just can't stand your spouse another minute! Divorce seems like a solution and it may well be.

But stop. Take a breath. There are some good reasons to grin and bear it for the holiday season. So, for practical, financial, and emotional purposes, consider waiting until January, as so many do, before you file for divorce.

New Year's Resolutions

Alton Abramowitz, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers told Reuters that there is no solid data on how many divorces are filed in January, but it is a popular time to act. "People don't want to upset the apple cart over the holidays ... And then, because they don't want to spend another damned year with that spouse of theirs, as soon as the holidays are over they pull the plug and file," explained Abramowitz. He outlines some reasons to hang around.

Reasons Not to File Today

  1. Bonuses: You may be due half of what is earned by your spouse. If the annual windfall is substantial, consider waiting for your cut of the bonus. But Ambramowitz warns that filing for divorce in January could still spur a fight over bonuses, depending whether it is considered a payment for past services or an enticement to stay at a job.
  2. Time to Unwind: If tensions are always running high at home and you really want to be alone, that is understandable. But divorce is a big deal and you need not rush. Make a decision to do it after the holidays and then try to use this time to prepare mentally and emotionally. You may gain important perspective by waiting.
  3. Taxes: One way to keep your paperwork neat is to file for divorce in a new tax year, demarcating a distinct line that will make it easier for you and your spouse to divide assets and to file independently in the future.
  4. Avoid Dangerous Habits: Holidays are an emotional time and it's best not to push yourself too far. If you do push, you may end up making unfortunate choices this holiday season, whether it is overeating or drinking or racking up huge credit card bills. Avoid consuming as a consolation prize by taking a slow and measured approach to your divorce.

Keep It Simple

Maybe the most important reason to wait until January is that your life is going to change drastically when you divorce. Use the holiday season to say goodbye to your current life and prepare for the one ahead. Your marriage may be over but it isn't done yet and no one can predict what wisdom (or gifts) you will gain if you wait just a little longer.

Speak to a local attorney to learn more about divorce. Counsel can help you prepare practically and emotionally for this process.

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