Divorce is never easy. Even amicable and long-anticipated splits come with emotional and legal complications. These issues often seem to multiply during the holidays, making the process particularly daunting.
If you’re contemplating a divorce this holiday season, don’t let these concerns cause you to put things off for another year. While divorcing over the holidays may be stressful, getting the process started sooner rather than later is better. Here’s why the holiday season can make ending your marriage feel harder and what you can do to keep your divorce on track.
Why Can Divorce Feel Harder Over the Holidays?
If the thought of requesting or managing a divorce seemed to become more alarming in the weeks before Thanksgiving, you’re not alone. Multiple factors can make holiday divorces feel more difficult. However, when you understand these issues, you can prepare for and address them as they come up. So, why do holidays make divorce so hard?
Increased Stress Levels
The end of the year is often stressful, even if you enjoy celebrations with family and friends. Many people are subject to end-of-year deadlines at work that must be met. In addition, many people find their budgets are tighter this time of year as they feel pressured to buy presents, pay for travel, and celebrate. Finally, the holidays often cause old family arguments to spring up.
This combination of personal, professional, and financial stress can make everything feel more difficult, your split included. If you don’t acknowledge the stress you are under, it can quickly boil over and cause problems with your split.
Emotional Associations With the Holidays
On a more personal level, many people have strong emotions tied to holidays like Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These days are often described as time best spent with friends and family, which can make ending your marriage more painful.
In some cases, your family can make these feelings worse. Your loved ones may ask you questions about the split with the best of intentions. However, the reminders can make it difficult to enjoy your time together, especially if you are early in the process. This family pressure can make you torn between focusing on your divorce and enjoying the holidays, making it difficult to do either.
The holidays are busy enough as it is. You likely face the demands of juggling family obligations, invitations from friends and making time for your children. Adding the need to attend court hearings or mediation complicates matters further. These scheduling issues can delay your divorce’s finalization, especially if you don’t plan for them in advance.
How to Handle Holiday Divorces
Scheduling, stress, and family pressure may make ending your marriage feel more difficult, but don’t let this stop you. You deserve a fresh start and the opportunity to build new relationships that will make future holidays shine even brighter. Here’s what you can do to manage holidays during a divorce, make them less painful, and keep your split on schedule as a gift to your future self.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in the months before the holiday season, take the holidays into account. Think about how the holiday season will affect your schedule, especially if you share children with your spouse. Develop plans for what you’ll do on holidays you’re used to spending with your spouse and how you’ll divide time with the kids.
You can also plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss any critical deadlines during this time. Work with your divorce attorney to understand what paperwork and information will be needed and when. If deadlines fall close to days you know you’ll be busy, you’ll be able to gather the appropriate documents in advance, so you’re not scrambling on Christmas Eve.
Stay on Top of Communication
If your divorce is stressing you out, it may be tempting to ignore anything related to it. Especially around the holidays, it is all too easy to let even critical communication about your divorce slide. Unfortunately, that’s a guaranteed way to make all the missed messages feel even more overwhelming in the cold light of January.
Instead, put communication at the top of your priority list. That includes responding to your attorney, getting information from your spouse, and asking and answering questions regarding your children’s schedules and care. This helps prevent missed deadlines and delays and helps keep your split on schedule even when everything else is in flux.
Schedule Time for Yourself
It can be easy to lose sight of your own needs when dealing with the double demands of holidays and a divorce. However, you’re just as important as everyone else in your life. While you’re planning how to juggle all the stresses of the season, don’t forget to save time for yourself.
This can take many forms. Maybe it means blocking off an afternoon to do nothing but watch bad movies. Perhaps it means prioritizing a weekly visit with friends. Whatever this time looks like for you, it plays an invaluable role in helping you relax. Giving yourself the same care you’d offer a family member can help you keep your divorce in perspective and make the holidays less overwhelming.
Navigate Holidays During Your Divorce With Expert Help
There’s no doubt that ending a marriage during the holidays is hard. You don’t need to handle it alone, though. If you’re preparing to file for divorce this December, the expert divorce lawyers at CC Law Group are available to help. Our empathetic attorneys understand your stress, and we work hard to keep the process as simple as possible. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you stay focused and move your divorce forward this holiday season.