Patrick M. Noe, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Should you wait until after a holiday to file for divorce?

Many holidays, whether they are big or small, figure majorly into the lives of quite a few families. For example, one family may have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day tradition, while another enjoys decorating the house for Halloween and coming up with elaborate costumes. For something such as Christmas, faraway travel or special gatherings may be the norm.

If you are planning to file for divorce and one of these holidays special to your family is coming up in a few weeks or a few months, could it be a good idea to wait to file? The answer is not always clear-cut.

How urgent is your need, and how prepared are you?

If you are in a hurry to get out of the marriage, then your priority might be speed. It is worth your time to sit down and figure out what you want from this divorce, what the ideal timeline would look like and what a realistic timeline might look like. A lawyer can help you figure many of these things out. In fact, meeting with a lawyer and getting the ball rolling can help you feel so productive and proactive that you are comfortable waiting for the holiday to pass. It also gives you time to gather financial documents, to make copies, to set up a separate bank account and other important pre-divorce odds and ends.

How thick is the tension?

Supposing your need is not so urgent that you cannot wait a few weeks or a few months and you are ready, then your next consideration might be what vibes the children are picking up. If you and your spouse argue a lot or barely talk to each other, your children may have a better holiday the sooner you announce the divorce rather than having to go through the motions as they celebrate. Children are certainly more observant (and resilient!) than many people think.

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