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Why do many couples wait until after the holidays to divorce?

You may already know that attorneys consider January through March "divorce season" here in Ohio and across the country, and the research tends to back up that belief. You may see that waiting until after the end of the year provides certain financial advantages, but as you contemplate the end of your marriage, you may wonder what other reasons compel couples to wait until after the holiday season.

For you, the thought of spending the next couple of months putting on a happy face when you are miserable inside does not seem like a good idea. However, if you have children and otherwise spend a significant portion of your holidays with extended family, you may want to do just that.

Common reasons to delay a divorce until the new year

The following are some of the most common reasons why couples wait until January to initiate divorce proceedings:

  • Timing is everything. If you file for divorce just before or during the holidays, it will more than likely prevent your children from enjoying this time of year. In addition, it creates a memory that could put a cloud over future holiday seasons, which may be challenging enough after the divorce is final.
  • Your friends and family may not know how to act around you and your spouse. Any holiday celebrations could become awkward for everyone. Should you discuss the divorce? Should everyone ignore it? If you wait until after the holidays, everyone has the rest of the year to get used to the idea.
  • The stress level is already high enough. Buying presents, attending parties, planning gatherings and all of the other obligations you have during the holidays only increase the stress if you announce your intentions to divorce.
  • The holiday season often comes with a hefty price tag. The last thing you need is to try to stretch your financial resources over two households during this time of year.

None of these reasons provides a strategic advantage, but they may help make what is coming less difficult for everyone involved.

If you still decide to divorce when the new year begins

You and your spouse may agree to maintain a united front until after the holidays, but that does not mean that you can't begin discussing how things will go once you file for divorce. You may find that "keeping up appearances" during this time gives you common ground that allows you to amicably discuss what will happen when the time comes.

After having some preliminary conversations about your divorce, you can obtain the legal advice and assistance you need to make your divorce as painless as possible for everyone.

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