Law Office of David L. Scott

When is the Best Time to File for Divorce?

When a spouse makes the difficult decision to get a divorce, he or she may want to immediately move forward. On the other hand, some spouses may want to wait for a better time. While there may not be one particular best time to get a divorce, there are some considerations worth weighing before making this monumental decision.

Calendar timing

Many spouses decide to get married after the winter holidays. Couples are often hesitant to get divorced during Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. Even if they do want to get a divorce, there is often scarce court time during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Parents may want to have one last good family time because they feel guilty so they do not want to compound a bad situation by messing up However, many people move toward the New Year with hopes for a better future, making January a common time to file for divorce. Online dating sees a tremendous spike during this time as well, indicating that people want to consider new romantic prospects. Additionally, spouses who get divorced early in the year may do so in order to avoid the potential tax liability of claiming married status for most of the year on pay stubs but then filing single when doing taxes.

Financial considerations

The timing of when a person files for divorce largely depends on financial considerations. If a stay-at-home parent wants to file for divorce, he or she may need to save some money to pay for legal expenses and new housing. He or she may also need to get copies of important financial records, including documents that show the working spouse’s income. It is not uncommon for one person to handle most of the family finances, so the spouse who is less involved in this process may need to take steps to get copies of records while he or she has access to them.

Spouses must also consider the financial implications of the divorce. One way to do this is to make a pre- and post-divorce budget. This is important for both spouses to do.

Children concerns

Another consideration for determining when the best time to file for divorce is the impact that a divorce will have on the children. Children of different ages will respond to divorce differently. Children under five are unlikely to understand why the divorce is happening. However, divorce during teen years can cause additional disruption during a developmental time that is difficult for children. Every situation is different, and it is important for parents to ask the questions that are specific to their unique situation when making this determination. Both spouses should carefully consider what steps can be taken to make the transition easier on their children and how they want to be involved in their children’s lives after the divorce.

Our Tennessee divorce lawyer knows there is never a good time to get a divorce. However, we recommend times that may be preferable and provide sound legal guidance based on your unique financial needs, children and other interests.

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