It depends. There are many aspects to this question, including the legal, financial, practical, and emotional ones. The decision is highly personal.
To start with the legal aspect: There is rarely a “right” time to end your relationship and start the formal separation process. If it’s a matter of merely a week or two (before vs. after the holidays) then it may make little or no difference in terms of when your separation date might start.
Similarly, there may be little financial impact on the decision whether to wait until after the holidays, or pull the plug before. Practically, however, the decision to end before the holidays may make it more difficult to find suitable accommodation if one of you will be moving out, and the normal impact and cost of gift-buying, celebrating special meals, and lost time at work may be part of the equation for you.
Finally, from an emotional standpoint, there are several important factors to consider, and it’s really a balancing act between all of them. Some questions to ask yourself:
- If you decide to break up before the holidays, will you be more – or less – happy not to spend them with your soon-to-be ex? Will the decision to split up cast a pall over the festive season for you or others?
- Conversely, if you decide to stick it out until after the festive season, will you both be able to behave maturely at family gatherings, despite the awkwardness and tension? Will you be ruining it for others?
- And – this is particularly important under either scenario: If you have children together, how will they be impacted?
As you can see, there are many “moving parts” to the decision, and it’s one that only you can make.