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Should I Get My Spouse a Divorce for Christmas?

Timing of Announcing Your Divorce

As a Long Island divorce lawyer, one of the first questions I ask in an initial consultation with a prospective divorce client is, “Does your spouse know you are here?”.  When the answer is “yes”, I usually take that to mean that there is some level of communication between the spouses, and possibly, they may be able to reach a resolution without too much trouble.  However, when the answer is “no”, I know that the other spouse will likely feel blindsided by the divorce, and, that resolution may be difficult because the other spouse has yet to come to grips with the divorce.

It’s Never a Good Time, Emotionally

When one spouse wants a divorce to the chagrin of the other, there is never a good time to tell that spouse. To do so around the holidays may make the divorce extremely difficult to resolve.  Let me say this, if there are no pressing issues, it is probably best to wait until after the holidays, however, as I just hinted, there are some equally compelling reasons not to wait.

Timing is Critical for Spousal Support

If the spouse seeking the divorce is the “monied” spouse with a pension, prolonging the initiation of the divorce is never a good idea. The longer the marriage, the greater the entitlement the non-titled spouse will have to the participating spouse’s pension and retirement benefits. In a situation where the monied spouse earns substantially greater income than the lesser monied or non-income generating spouse, the longer the marriage, the longer the monied spouse may have to pay spousal support. As I suggested in earlier articles, prolonging the marriage can have catastrophic results in the event that your spouse becomes injured, ill or disabled during the marriage. In such scenarios, lifetime maintenance is a real possibility.

The Holidays Make Things More Complicated

Where one spouse has made up their mind that the marriage is over, telling the other spouse is never pleasant; adding the stress of the holidays, makes the situation even more difficult. Each case is different, and, the decision to file around the holidays or after is best made after consulting with a knowledge divorce and family law attorney.

Seek Legal Help Now Even if You’re Going to Wait

Just because you feel you will wait to speak to your spouse is no reason to wait to see your divorce attorney. The attorney’s counsel may be critical in the timing of your decision and announcement. Contact us at 631.923.1910 to arrange a free private consultation to discuss your options.