I am sometimes asked if it is better to wait until after the holidays to start a divorce proceeding.  My answer is usually “it depends.”

If the person asking does not have children with his or her spouse, in my opinion starting a divorce proceeding sooner rather than later is probably best.  This is especially true if there are financial issues that need to be addressed immediately.  This is because there is something called the “valuation date.”  This is the date used to divide assets, and used to differentiate marital income from post-marital income.  The valuation date usually happens early in the case, but if you do not start a case, you do not have a valuation date yet.  This means that one spouse can continue to be liable for debts accrued by the other spouse.  In many cases, people who delay the divorce proceeding unwittingly increase the amount of debt they are liable for.

Divorce and separation can be problematic around holiday time if the couple has minor children.  Even so, I think a person needs to ask whether the marriage relationship is so toxic that the children might actually experience relief if a divorce proceeding is started, even when the holidays are coming up.  Children often know when their parents are not getting along and it can impact them negatively if they are are exposed to a less-than-healthy relationship between their parents.  Ultimately, when children are involved, whether one should start a divorce proceeding prior to the holidays is a judgment call to be made by the person contemplating divorce.

If you have any questions about this blog post, or any of my blog posts, feel free to contact me.  My name is Daniel M. Fiskum.  My phone number is (952) 270-7700.  My law firm is Minnetonka Family Law, located in the Carlson Towers, at 601 Carlson Parkway, Minnetonka, Minnesota, 55305.  I have practiced divorce and family law continuously in Minnesota for about twenty-five (25) years.  I am a 1992 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law and have been named a “Super Lawyer” but the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics. I am a member of the Family Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the Minnesota State Bar Association.