Issues with starting a divorce during the holiday season


Attorney Michelle Barry discusses the particular issues faced when starting a divorce during the holiday season.


Chrissy: Attorney Michelle Barry, family law attorney here in the Orlando area. Hi Michelle, how are you today?

Attorney Michelle Barry: I am great. Hi Chris, thanks for having me on your show.

Chrissy: Absolutely. Thank you so much for being on Olsen on Law, and as always we appreciate your family law advice. Michelle, we received an email from one of our loyal listeners this past week. The email went like this, “I am needing to start a divorce process but I would like some advice on what you suggest and what a best plan of action would be, because we're approaching the holidays."

Attorney Michelle Barry: Yes, that's becoming a common issue right now because the holidays are approaching. I just got a call like this last week from somebody who is contemplating a dissolution of marriage and they have an eight-year old child. I have told folks that if they are actually looking at a divorce this time of year to take their cues from their children, because they are the ones that are going to be the most affected by a split right before Christmas.

In some cases, the children are very aware that the children are at odds with each other and sometimes that could actually be a relief. In those cases, I say "Go ahead, and file." If everything can be worked out there's a possibility that the divorce can even be finalized by the holidays. If it's a case where it's going to be very highly contested and there's going to be a lot of arguments, or sometimes even when there's no children involved, those are best to just wait until the new year and start fresh.

If it's been building up over the holidays and getting closer as the year has been going on then it's better to just relieve that tension and that pressure before the holidays get here with all the additional stress that's sometimes involved.

Chrissy: Michelle I think that's great advice, thank you. I think that we know too that, especially in the situation where families that have children, those children are very intuitive and taking the cues from the children is I think some of the best advice I've ever heard.

Attorney Michelle Barry: It's definitely something to consider because the best interest of the children are usually what govern and control divorce cases. The first thing that the court looks at is how the minors are being treated in the situation because they really have no say in it. But at the end of the day, a lot of children, when they get older, have come forward and said, "We'd much rather have one happy parent than two miserable ones."

On the mercenary side of it, kids figure out very quickly that when parents are split up that they get two of everything.

Chrissy: There you go.

Attorney Michelle Barry: So. You end up with children going, "Wait a minute, I get two birthdays, two holidays, two Christmases." It works out very well in that case.

Chrissy: They're probably like, "Wait this isn't too bad of a deal after all."

Attorney Michelle Barry: No. Something I found out too, recently, that same individual I spoke to said that children nowadays are actually being informed in school that when their parents are divorcing that it's not their fault, that the parents still love them, it's not anything that children did, which is really helpful.

A lot of kids nowadays are very much ahead of the game and they're just waiting for their parents to go ahead and make the decision.

Chrissy: Well thank you so much Michelle. Great advice, and Michelle tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Best way to contact me is at my law office in Longwood. My phone number there is 407 622 4529. Or, you can reach me by email by going to my website at www.michelle-- Excuse me, My email address is That's M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E @ Look forward to hearing from you.

Chrissy: Thank you so much. Thank you again Michelle, really appreciate it. Once again too, I know for listeners if you didn't get that contact information, you can also go to our website at and we have Michelle's information and videos there. Thanks again, Michelle.