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Divorce During the Holidays?

Now that it’s November, the holidays are just around the corner. Soon, families across New York and the nation will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. During this time, so much comes to a pause – schools go on holiday breaks, the office madness slows down, people travel out-of-state or abroad to visit with family, and college kids come home to visit Mom and Dad.

If you’re in a deeply unsatisfying marriage and if you’re like a lot of our clients, you may be asking yourself, “Should I hold off on the divorce until after the New Year?” There is no cookie-cutter answer to that question because the right answer depends on the circumstances at home and whether you have children under the age of 18.

Should I Wait if I Have Children?

It depends. Is your spouse abusing you, your children or your pets? Is your spouse verbally abusive and putting you or your children down all the time? Is your spouse controlling, making it nearly impossible to live under the same roof with him or her? Do you and your spouse argue non-stop in front of or within ear shot of the kids?

If your answer is “yes” to one or more of the above questions, it may not make sense to delay the divorce filing until after the holidays. Why? Mainly because children should not be in high-conflict environments, and in the case of domestic violence, children should never be exposed to it.

On the other hand, is your spouse a kind, decent, loving person in general? Are they a good human being and parent to your children? Have you and your spouse managed to keep the home environment loving and nurturing despite the fact that the love in your relationship is gone? If this is the case and you want the kids to have one last holiday season together as a family, perhaps it makes sense to delay the divorce until January.

What if We Don’t Have Children?

The absence of children simplifies things a lot. Childless couples are not affected by the timing of divorce as much as couples with children. In this case, usually there’s nothing holding a couple back from filing for divorce during the holidays. Sometimes, however, childless couples delay a divorce filing because:

  • The couple has non-refundable plane tickets during the holidays.
  • The couple has paid for a vacation during the holidays.
  • The couple wants to partake in a family holiday tradition for one last time.

Are you wanting to file for divorce, but you’re not sure of when to do it? To get your questions answered, contact our firm to meet with a Schenectady divorce lawyer for free. We are here to help in every way possible!