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When Should I Get Divorced?

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As experienced Denver divorce attorneys, one of the most common questions we hear from clients concerns the timing of their divorce. While this will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, the following are ramifications you will want to consider.

The Best Time of Year to Get a Divorce

If you experience issues in your marriage such as a spouse’s alcohol or drug use and domestic violence, you may need to act quickly to protect your family’s safety and well being. If your breakup is more about long-simmering resentments or disagreements that have caused you to grow apart, giving thought to the timing of your divorce is a smart move.

Due to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax laws regarding filing status, January is often considered the best time for getting a divorce:

  • If you were separated or filed for divorce on December 31st or at any prior time during the year but your divorce was not finalized, you are considered as married for the entire year and can file a joint return.
  • If your divorce was finalized on December 31 or any time prior in the year, you are considered unmarried and are required to file as a single taxpayer.

Filing status can have a significant impact on taxes you may be required to pay or refunds you may be owed and is a common reason for timing a divorce.

Other Considerations in Timing Your Divorce

In addition to tax ramifications, there are other important issues to consider in deciding when to file for divorce. Under the Colorado Dissolution of Marriage Act (C.R.S. 14-10), couples must meet residency requirements, but since Colorado is a ”˜no fault’ state, the only grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences.

While fault grounds such as adultery, habitual drunkenness, desertion, and mental cruelty do not impact your ability to get a divorce, they can have an effect on issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. Remaining married to a spouse who has engaged in these types of behaviors may be viewed as condonation, meaning that you either forgive your spouse or accept their acts. Other issues to consider in timing your divorce include:

  • Impact on children: If you have small children, you may be reluctant to separate over the holiday or during their school breaks. At the same time, custody issues due to a divorce during the school year could necessitate a change in school districts.  
  • Financial preparedness: Prior to filing for divorce, it is best to be financially prepared. In addition to finding housing that is affordable on one income, you will want to have your own bank accounts and lines of credit established, make copies of important documents, and conduct a thorough inventory of all marital property and assets.  

When determining when the time is right for you to seek a divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced Colorado divorce attorney. Call or contact Divorce Matters online and request a consultation today. Serving Denver and the surrounding areas, we provide the trusted legal advice you need to protect yourself and your family.