As you know, 2020 has been quite eventful. And now that the year is almost over, we're feeling a bit nostalgic. We'd like to reflect on the good ol' days when news of a celebrity divorce around Thanksgiving was cause for alarm.
We’ve been practicing family law in the Evergreen State longer than most celebrities have been married, so we know that separations during Thanksgiving aren’t that unusual. While most married couples look forward to enjoying traditions such as eating turkey and Black Friday deals, others are dealing with the imminent separation from a spouse. Here are a few concerns about filing for divorce during Thanksgiving.
Should I file for divorce during Thanksgiving?
There are many reasons why a couple would delay getting a divorce. Some couples wait until after their 10th anniversary to get certain Social Security spousal benefits after the split. Some wait until they’re financially capable, and others may wait it out due to health reasons. An ongoing pandemic and courts closing because of the said pandemic are already two good reasons to delay.
Related reading: Should you file for divorce in Washington state amid a pandemic?
Regardless of when you divorce, know that it’s going to hurt. In the case of golfing legend Tiger Woods, it physically hurt. Mr. Woods and his ex-wife Elin Nordegren had a very public fight on Thanksgiving weekend, supposedly when Ms. Nordegren found out about her then husband’s multiple acts of infidelity.
For some people, splitting is the only way to go, and not even holiday festivities will stop them from filing for a divorce. But timing is key. If you’re filing for a dissolution of marriage in Washington state, for instance, it pays to know how long the entire process will take. Knowing that key information, you and your partner can plan your holidays around your looming separation.
Bear in mind as you decide that compassion will go a long way. Serving your spouse with a divorce petition a week before Thanksgiving may be perceived as vindictive and unkind. It may also be indicative of how the divorce will play out.
However, in cases similar to that of the former Mr. and Mrs. Woods, wherein fights tend to involve a chipped tooth and a smashed windshield, there is no time to wait.
Who gets the kids?
A 2010 Facebook study found that peak break-up season is two weeks before the winter holidays, while January is typically touted as divorce month. It’s safe to assume that many couples aren’t waiting for the cold months to part ways. The silver lining, if any, in separating during the holiday season is that you and your ex get to rip the band-aid off and start anew immediately.
If you have kids and planning for a divorce around Thanksgiving, make sure to discuss parenting plan holidays with your family law attorney. If you want to know about parenting plan holidays in Washington state, we can help. A Washington state parenting plan includes regular holidays (Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, etc.), but could be modified to add more holidays.
Or if you're as creative as exes Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, you could create a parenting plan that ensures Halloween is always spent wearing matching costumes. The ex-couple, who divorced in 2016, is a stellar example of exes who’ve mastered the art of co-parenting. Ditto, these celebrity exes.
Divorcing on Thanksgiving because of...Thanksgiving
Ex-sweethearts Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson didn’t wait until the end of the holiday season to split. The former pop singing sensations parted ways a day before Thanksgiving 2005. One of the reasons for their divorce was because Nick allegedly couldn’t stand to spend one more Thanksgiving with the Simpsons.
So if the reason you’re thinking about filing for a divorce during Thanksgiving is because of Thanksgiving, know that you are not alone.
Unlike turkey and gravy, divorce and Thanksgiving don’t always go well together, but it can work. In any case, get in touch with family law attorneys Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams for advice. Call us at 425-448-6419 or leave us a message.