9.7Susan M. Hais

The holidays are what divorce lawyers like to call a yearly perfect storm. There are a lot of stressors in a person’s life that can be the last straw in their marriage, but none of that stress comes around on at the same time every year like the holidays do. Whether it is dealing with in-laws that never liked you much in the first place to constantly stressing over a gift to get the spouse that “doesn’t care” what you get them, but really does, it is all putting strain on an already crumbling marriage. As the holidays are such an innately stressful time, it is naturally a big season for divorce. So how can you cope with an impending divorce during the holidays?

If You Can Wait, Do Wait

Filing for divorce during the holidays won’t make them go smoother. In fact, it will often make them much worse. It will make the kids unhappy, the rest of the family unhappy, and it will make you feel even worse. It can even give rise to feelings of guilt that will make you re-think ending a marriage that is clearly not working. If the filing can wait, it may be best to leave it until after the holidays are over. Getting through the holidays is often enough stress.

Celebrate Separately

If the divorce is already in process, it might be best to work out a schedule to celebrate the holidays separately. After all, after the divorce is final, you will be doing it anyway. If you don’t have kids, then scheduling is easy, but with children, it can be more difficult. However, with a schedule that keeps both parents separate, it will prevent arguments and unhappiness between the parents in front of their children while also allowing both sides of a child’s family to spend time with them.

Don’t Make the Holidays About the Stuff

Gifts are important to every child on the holidays, but divorcing parents try to make it into a competition. It is not a competition, and holidays aren’t about the gifts. Holidays should be about making a connection. Divorcing parents should still give their children gifts on those gift-giving holidays, but it might be better to try to establish new traditions like volunteering or playing games that foster a real emotional connection. Children often feel like it is their fault for a divorce and building an emotional connection will help assure them that you still love them.

Are you going through a divorce this holiday season? Then you might be spending a lot of the holiday season with your lawyer. Contact us today so that the law office of Hais, Hais & Goldberger can help your divorce go smoothly by providing clear direction on what route you should take. We can also give suggestions on how to make what could be a very lonely holiday season a little more bearable even with the divorce.