Divorce papers filed

It is the holiday season, so why rush through a divorce before the end of the year? Some situations may need immediate attention, such as domestic violence, child abuse, and depleting marital assets. If your situation involves an urgent matter, you might need to file for divorce now instead of in the new year. If not, you might want to consider some reasons to wait to file for divorce in the new year provided by our Austin divorce attorney

Reasons to Wait to File for Divorce in the New Year in Texas

If you and your spouse are amicable and there is no reason to set a separation date or rush to court, the benefits of waiting to file for divorce until the new year include:

Filing Joint Tax Returns

Being married on December 31 entitles you to file a joint tax return with your ex-spouse for that tax year. Filing a joint tax return may have numerous financial advantages for a couple. Therefore, consider your tax filing status when determining when to file for divorce.

Marital Property 

If your spouse receives a significant year-end bonus or commission, you may want to wait until the new year to file for divorce so that you can claim that income as marital property. Furthermore, your spouse’s income directly impacts child support and alimony calculations. Therefore, a higher income means you could receive more money for domestic support payments.

Healthcare Coverage 

Many individuals take care of routine health exams toward the end of the year. If you anticipate a sizeable medical bill before the end of the year, you may need to remain married to continue health insurance coverage from your spouse. Even if you do not anticipate healthcare bills by year-end, determining healthcare coverage changes made before the end of the benefit year can be confusing and stressful.

Preserving the Holidays for Your Children

The decision to divorce impacts the entire family, especially children. If you have a friendly or even polite relationship with your spouse, it might be worth putting off a divorce until the new year to make the holidays better for your children. Children may associate the holidays with the breakup of their family if they divorce during the holidays.

Gather Year-End Financial Documents and Statements 

The end of the year is a great time to gather documents and information for a divorce. It is also the perfect time to discuss your family’s finances without raising suspicions if you have not discussed a divorce with your spouse. All you appear to be doing is gathering information to prepare for tax season.

What Should I Do?

The timeline for a divorce varies based on your circumstances and factors relevant to your situation. There could be conflicting factors that make it more challenging to decide when to file for divorce in Texas. 

Seeking legal advice is the best way to decide what is best for your situation. An attorney analyzes all the factors in your case and explains how filing now or after the new year impacts each factor. With that knowledge, you can make the right decision for you. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Austin Divorce Attorney

Do you have questions about the timing of your divorce filing? Call the Law Office of Ben Carrasco to request a free case evaluation from an experienced Austin divorce attorney. 

It is never too early to talk with a divorce attorney about your situation. We will help you develop a timeline for your divorce that meets your needs and benefits your divorce goals. 

About the Author
Ben Carrasco is a highly skilled family law attorney based in Austin, Texas, known for his extensive expertise in family law and business litigation. While his primary focus is family law, Ben brings a wealth of experience in litigating diverse business disputes, ranging from breach of contract and collections to business torts, fraud, and real estate matters. In his family law practice, Ben navigates all aspects of the field, including divorce, child custody, support, property division, and more, offering clients expert guidance throughout the litigation process. His legal journey began in complex commercial litigation, initially with a global law firm and later with a prominent Austin-based firm. However, driven by a desire to make a direct impact on people's lives and embrace the human element of the law, Ben transitioned to family law, a decision that has proven to be deeply rewarding. A proud Austin native with roots in California, Ben completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, before earning his law degree at Stanford Law School, where he excelled in legal writing and served as an associate editor of the Stanford Law and Policy Review.