Is It Better to Get Divorced before or after the Holidays?

Divorce is never easy, and no one makes the decision to dissolve their marriage lightly. However, one of the most difficult questions people face when contemplating divorce in the fall months is whether to get divorced before or after the holidays. 

As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to each side. Given that January is known as “divorce month,” though, it seems as though the majority of couples decide to wait until after the holidays to file for divorce. 

But is that really the best decision for everyone? Let’s look at the benefits of divorce before and after the holidays.

Benefits of planning your divorce after the holidays

Nobody loves the idea of staying in an unhappy marriage longer than necessary. However, people also don’t like dealing with divorce during the holiday season. Divorcing after the holidays might be a better call for several reasons.

Less stress

Many couples find waiting until the new year more manageable. This can make it easier to navigate family events, and it can help you start the New Year with clear goals in mind. And with less stress on your plate, you and your spouse may find you are able to work through the divorce process more amicably after the holidays.

Simpler finances

Planning your divorce after the holidays also has financial perks. It makes filing taxes easier and gives you more time to prepare for divorce-related expenses. Considering that the holiday season is often one of the most expensive times of the year, many people prefer not to add more expenses into the mix.

Kids’ well-being

Finally, waiting until after the holidays can benefit children. It avoids adding stress to children’s lives during the holiday season and gives them space to enjoy the holidays with both parents. It can also help prevent the children from associating the holidays with divorce.

Reasons to divorce before or during the holidays

There are also plenty of reasons to go ahead with your divorce in the midst of the busy holiday season.


People who are married to an abusive partner shouldn’t stay married any longer than necessary. Not only is it ill-advised, but it can be dangerous for the person and any children who live at home. If you are in an abusive relationship, get out as soon as it is safe to do so.


If yours is a fully uncontested divorce with no disagreements or need for mediation, you can likely finalize the divorce during the holidays. In fact, you may be able to file for divorce and move on before the holidays are over.

Less awkwardness 

If you or your spouse have a difficult family, you may not want to endure another holiday season with them. If that’s the case, starting the divorce process before the holidays could save you from some interrogations and difficult conversations.

Avoid false hope

If the desire to divorce is not mutual, waiting until after the holidays could give the other spouse false hope that the marriage can be salvaged. If you don’t want to deal with that, it may make more sense to go ahead and start planning your divorce sooner rather than later.

Other considerations for your divorce timeline

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide when to get divorced. If you’re wavering between divorcing during the holidays or waiting until the new year to file for divorce, you will want to factor every possible consideration into your decision.

Other considerations for your divorce may include the following:

  • Whether you will be serving your spouse or filing jointly
  • The nature of your co-parenting relationship
  • The availability of your attorney and anyone else involved in the process
  • Whether your family will be supportive or problematic
  • Your family’s typical holiday schedule
  • How easy or hard it will be to settle divorce disagreements

Regardless of whether you decide to wait until after the holidays or file for divorce before the holiday season is in full swing, Hello Divorce is here to help. We offer a variety of divorce plans and services to help you work through this as painlessly as possible. Curious to learn more? Schedule your free 15-minute call to speak with one of our account coordinators.

Recommended reading: 6 Sanity-Saving Tips for Surviving the Holidays
Divorce Content Specialist
Communication, Mediation, Relationships, Divorce Insights
A content writer and editor for several digital publications and businesses, including Make Tech Easier, How-To Geek, and Clean Email.