The holiday season is upon us and while it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, for some couples, it can be the nail in the coffin of an already fragile relationship. If you're considering filing for divorce, you may be wondering if waiting until after the New Year is the best decision. In this blog post, we'll be discussing the pros and cons of filing for divorce before or after the New Year.
Pros and Cons of Filing for Divorce Before the New Year
Deciding when to file for divorce is a personal choice that depends on a variety of factors. While there are advantages and disadvantages to filing before or after the New Year, it's important to keep in mind what's best for you and your family. Here are the pros and cons of filing for divorce before the New Year:
Pros of Filing for Divorce Before the New Year:
- Tax Benefits – If you're filing for divorce before the year ends, you may still be able to file jointly for tax purposes. This can result in a greater amount of money being saved for both parties.
- Getting a Fresh Start – Many people like to start the year fresh and free of any past pain. Filing for divorce before the New Year allows couples to start off the year with a clean slate.
Cons of Filing for Divorce Before the New Year:
- Stressful Holiday Season – Going through the divorce process during the holiday season can be incredibly stressful and sad. It can make handling holiday events and family gatherings uncomfortable.
- Potential for Delay – Courts typically have holiday schedules that can cause delays in the divorce process. It's important to keep this in mind if you're deciding to file before the New Year.
Pros and Cons of Filing for Divorce After the New Year
Here are the pros and cons of filing for divorce after the New Year:
Pros of Filing for Divorce After the New Year:
- Time to Plan – Choosing to file for divorce after the New Year allows couples to have time to plan and prepare for the process.
- Emotional Healing – The New Year can result in a chance for emotional healing and time to reflect before starting the divorce process.
Cons of Filing for Divorce After the New Year:
- Financial Consequences – Filing for divorce after the New Year can result in financial consequences, such as losing tax benefits, having to pay more in taxes, or even losing out on a bonus or inheritance.
- Procrastinating – Deciding to file for divorce after the New Year can result in couples putting off the decision and prolonging the pain and suffering.
What Should I Do Before I File for Divorce?
Divorce is an incredibly difficult decision and can be emotionally draining. Before you file for divorce, there are several things you should consider and prepare for. Taking the time to prepare beforehand can help make the transition smoother and lessen the emotional impact. Below, we will outline important things you should do before filing for divorce:
- Consider Counseling: Before making any final decisions, consider seeking professional counseling. Counseling can provide you and your spouse with a safe space to discuss your feelings and work through any problems that may have contributed to your decision to file for divorce. Additionally, counseling can also help prepare you for the emotional challenges you may face during the divorce process.
- Hire an Attorney: Divorce can be a complex and challenging process, especially if there are significant assets or children involved. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process. An attorney can also guide you through the legal procedures and paperwork associated with divorce.
- Gather Financial Information: Before filing for divorce, it’s important to gather all your financial information, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, and mortgage information. This information will be necessary later during the divorce process when determining asset allocation and support payments.
- Develop a Parenting Plan: If you have children, it is crucial to develop a parenting plan before filing for divorce. This plan should include a detailed schedule for custody and visitation, including holidays, school vacations, and summer breaks. It’s also important to discuss the financial responsibilities associated with raising children, including child support and education expenses.
- Consider the Impact on Your Career: Divorce can have a significant impact on your career, particularly if you are a stay-at-home parent or financially dependent on your spouse. Consider the impact of the divorce on your income and career and develop a plan to ensure that you can support yourself and your children financially.
Divorce is never easy, but careful planning and preparation can help make the process more manageable.