Should you really wait until January to get divorced?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Are you ready to divorce but still hesitant to take action because the holidays are coming close?

That’s understandable. The first working Monday of every January is nicknamed “Divorce Day” because so many other couples do the same: They put off the divorce they know they want because they don’t want to make the holidays uncomfortable for family and friends.

Is that really wise? Here’s what you should factor into your decision:

If you’re in a high-conflict marriage, you aren’t preserving happy memories

If you’re waiting to divorce because you don’t want the kids to associate the holidays with their parents’ break=up, consider this: Do you really think the kids want to remember the holidays as a time when their parents were constantly fighting?

Children are far more conscious of the tensions between their parents than you might think. When you and your spouse are constantly fighting or not speaking to each other, you’re setting a dismal example for your kids when it comes to handling conflicts responsibly and respectfully. It may be better to get out now — for their sake.

You could be missing opportunities to rebuild your social circle

Your social relationships are bound to change after your split. Your “couple friends” may shy away from both of you (or take sides), and you may find yourself looking for friendships and companionship.

What better time to rebuild your social network than the holiday season? You can put the word out to old friends and relatives that you’re solo this year and ask if they have room for you at any holiday gatherings.

You could be more prone to mistakes in your divorce

If you know you want out of your marriage now, how much do you think you’ll want out by the time January gets here?

You may be so desperate to move on by that point that you agree to terms in your divorce that simply aren’t fair. If you get some space now, you can make level-headed decisions when it comes to things like dividing the marital assets, custody and support.

Every situation is different, but if you’re ready to move forward with your divorce, there’s no time like the present to begin.

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