Filing Divorce During The Holidays: Good or Bad Idea?
Deciding to file for divorce in Michigan is a significant and complex choice, involving numerous factors.
A common dilemma faced during this time of year is whether it’s better to initiate the divorce process during the holiday season or to wait until the beginning of the new year.
Reasons To File For Divorce During the Holiday Season
In some scenarios, it’s crucial to file for divorce promptly, irrespective of the season. These instances typically necessitate obtaining a temporary court order to safeguard your rights related to child custody, parenting, finances, or other urgent matters that demand immediate attention.
Custody & Parenting Time
One instance where it is important to file as soon as possible is if one parent has moved out of the marital home with the children and is not allowing the other parent to see the kids. In that case, it would be important to not just file a complaint for divorce or custody but to also file a motion and seek an order that requires interim or temporary parenting time while the case is pending.
Financial Issues & Concerns
If one spouse stops depositing their paycheck into the joint account or is refusing to pay their share of the bills, then filing for divorce would give the court jurisdiction to order the offending spouse to deposit their checks or pay their share of the bills. Another instance is where one spouse has or is threatening to remove funds from accounts, filing for divorce will allow you to get an order to freeze accounts if necessary.
Issues With Jurisdiction
If one spouse has moved out of the county or the state where they have lived, then there will be a time limit on how long jurisdiction remains in the county or even the state where the parties lived during the marriage.
Divorce in Michigan is a Slow Process
Michigan divorce is a slow process, absent other reasons, the sooner you file for divorce, the sooner you can get the process over with and move on with your life.
Reasons To Wait Until After The New Year To File For Divorce
There are various emotional reasons to consider delaying a divorce filing. A key factor is the well-being of children, especially younger ones. It may be beneficial to postpone the process to avoid the children facing the challenges of a divorce during the holiday season. Unless other factors demand immediate action, waiting until the new year or shortly after to begin the process is often a sensible choice.
Additionally, there are practical circumstances where postponing the filing makes sense. For instance, if you require medical treatment or surgery and your spouse provides or has superior health insurance coverage, delaying the divorce is advisable. This approach allows medical expenses, such as out-of-pocket costs and deductibles, to be covered from joint marital funds. Post-divorce, these expenses would become your sole financial responsibility.
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