Should you file for divorce before the holidays?

Divorce, Legal Separation, Mediation

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you are seriously considering filing for a divorce, you may be struggling with the thought of filing before the holiday season. While there is no good time to file for divorce, there are pros and cons to filing before vs. after the holidays. 

Some situations in which filing before the holidays is recommended:

  • You and your spouse are constantly fighting, and you cannot bear the thought of spending another holiday with him or her. Take the first step and file ASAP.
  • This advice applies even more strongly if you are in an abusive relationship. In that case, it’s critical to your safety as well as the safety of your children that you leave immediately and file for divorce.  

Filing for divorce before the holidays can give you peace of mind and a fresh start to the new year. However, there may be other factors in your life that have you leaning towards delaying filing for divorce until after the holidays. 

Should you wait until next year?

If you and your spouse have an amicable relationship and are still being civil to one another, filing for divorce after the holidays may be a good idea. By doing this, you’re ensuring your children won’t associate the holidays with their parents divorcing. In the future, they may have to adapt to living in a new home and to the idea of spending the holidays with one parent or the other, all of which are going to be difficult enough for them.

Should your spouse become ill or lose their job, you may want to postpone filing until they’re back on their feet — as long as your relationship is on good terms. 

Other more prosaic considerations involve finances as well. Waiting until the new year to file your taxes may make filing the previous year’s much easier. You ought to consult your CPA or tax preparer to understand the pros and cons for you based on your potential filing date. Also, if your spouse receives year-end bonuses from their employer, you have a better chance of receiving some of that bonus income if you wait to file until after the new year.

Finally, postponing filing until after the holidays will give you some added time to gather information your attorney may require — such as statements of marital assets and debts — as well as finding a place to live if you’re the one that’s moving out of your home.

It’s never too early to talk to someone

The answer to the question of should you file for divorce before or after the holidays is that it is a personal decision that must be based on what is in your best interest as well in the best interest of your children. At JWB Family Law, leading San Diego family law attorneys, we recommend that you schedule a free consultation with a divorce attorney to help you determine the best time to file for your divorce.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.


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