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As Christmas approaches, many Florida spouses are certain that the coming year will bring the formal end of their marriage. Even so, few will broach the subject with their partner over the holidays, choosing instead to postpone the matter until after the decorations have been stored and the presents put away. The urge to avoid discussing divorce during the holidays is understandable, but spouses should be prepared to move forward once the season has passed.

Delaying the inevitable only places all parties under stress, and does nothing to further the goal of moving beyond a broken marriage. In cases in which only one spouse is ready to divorce, delay also gives the other party time to reach that same decision. The end result could be one’s partner moving ahead with filing and hiring an attorney, which gives him or her an advantage once the process is underway.

In addition, there are a number of things that can happen to derail divorce plans, such as the loss of a job, the illness of a spouse or other factors. If a significant life event arises before the divorce process is initiated, many spouses feel obligated to stay within the marriage until the matter is resolved. Postponing divorce only allows more time for complications to arise, which can mean more time in an untenable marriage.

The end of the year is less than a month away, and waiting that long is unlikely to yield negative results. However, Florida spouses who are certain that divorce is the best course of action should make an effort to use the next few weeks to gather the information needed to move forward with their filing. This includes comprehensive documentation of all marital assets and debt. It is also a good idea to meet with an attorney to discuss options and plan the timing of filing. Taking these steps will give spouses the ability to move forward as soon as the New Year arrives, and begin planning for their future.

Source: 11alive.com, “If marriage is rocky, should you put off divorce?”, Jennifer Leslie, Dec. 2, 2015