When you’ve decided to get a divorce, sometimes it seems as though you can’t stand to be married to your partner for one more minute. While this is a natural sentiment, unless you’re in an abusive situation, you may want to wait to divorce until after the holidays.
Reasons Not to File Yet
If the winter holidays are fast approaching, here are some reasons to delay signing those divorce papers until after the New Year:
Avoid the Holiday Frenzy
The holidays are often a time of heightened emotions, even for those who have had relatively happy and healthy childhoods. The holidays are a time to reflect, to consider what the past year as entailed and to make plans for the future. However, despite all this peaceful reflecting, it is also a time of long lines, stressed out friends and family and the pressure of getting just the right presents and preparing just the right food. Unless you and your spouse are going through an incredibly civil divorce with no children, no assets and no resentment, divorcing during the holidays will most likely only compound the stress factor.
Give the Children a Calm Holiday
Especially if you and your spouse have been married with children for a while, you may not want to disrupt their lives right before the holidays. You most likely have traditions in place that the children are used to each year. Making changes to this tradition right before it occurs can create tension and upset. See if you can make an agreement with your spouse to focus on the children for a couple weeks and then move on with your separate lives at the start of the new year.
Simplify Your Taxes
Tax season can be a mess after a divorce, especially if the divorce happened near the end of the preceding year. While it may seem trite to let the New Year ring in before legally changing your filing status, it can save you a major headache down the road.
Resist Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Since holidays are stressful in and of themselves, if you divorce during the holidays, you may find yourself coping in unhealthy ways. You might overspend on presents as a way to numb any emotions, or you might find yourself overeating or buying things you don’t need. January 1st naturally provides a renewed sense of calm and focus, and it can be a better time to make a major life change.
If you rely on your spouse’s income and are legally owed half of what your spouse earns at the divorce, you may want to wait until after your spouse has received the end of the year bonus before legally divorcing.
Ultimately, only you know what is right for you and your family, but these considerations can help you make a confident choice.
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