“Merry Christmas,” they say at the office party. “Happy Holidays,” cheers a friendly neighbor. Indeed, the holiday season brings joy, but perhaps not to all. For those going through a divorce, the holidays are anything but merry. For divorce attorneys in Providence RI, the holidays do seem to create a sort of divorce “bubble,” if you will. In fact, of the 2.1 million divorces currently reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the biggest month for filing seems to be either January or March, depending on which source you use. According to a 2011 report published in the Huffington Post, January takes the title.
Reasons For Divorces During And After The Holidays
While there is a lot of speculation as to the reason for this phenomenon, it seems there are a few top contenders.
- The Taxes: Since finances play a large role in many failed marriages, it should come as no surprise that money is at the top of the list for reasons why people delay divorcing until after the New Year. After all, married couples filing jointly tend to save money by remaining married until after filing their taxes.
- The Kids: It can be tough to break the news to young children during the holidays. People generally want to make the holidays a happy experience and not ruin it for the children.
- The Family: Beyond money and children, there are the in-laws, siblings, and other family members who often present problems for couples facing a divorce. Nobody wants to tell parents that the marriage has failed over Christmas dinner. Moreover, there is a lot of pressure for people to appear happy and successful during the holidays, much of which is measured by outward displays of wealth and contentment, such as large purchases and family togetherness.
Tips To Help Survive A Holiday Divorce
If you have already committed to a divorce and are now wondering what to do to just survive the season while going through your divorce, there are several excellent tips you can try to get you through this year. These may not be permanent solutions to the problem, but they might just make it a bit easier.
Get a lawyer
It should go without saying, but let’s just say it anyway – get an attorney. Find experienced divorce attorneys who can walk you through the process step-by-step and ease your concerns and fears. Without competent legal help, your imagination can get the better of you and leave you terrified of your future.
Avoid social media
Now this one can be really tough around the holidays, but one surefire way to feel horrible about your life is to stalk your soon-to-be ex-spouse on social media, only to find him or her with a new partner enjoying dinner at your favorite restaurant. Plus, you may be tempted to post comments or photographs that can later be used against you in your divorce. Do yourself a favor; put it away and avoid social media until after the divorce.
Be agreeable…to a point
While you may tempted to fight over every second of time with your children, try to remember that your children do not count seconds or keep accounting of the hours spent with each spouse over the holidays. They want to spend time with their parents. Unless there are serious issues involving abuse or concerns about safety and well-being, you should make every reasonable attempt to let your spouse spend time with the children. If possible, you should even consider spending time together with the children. Being amicable does not mean being a pushover. If your spouse has unrealistic demands or is using the children as a weapon, these are things you should address with your divorce lawyers.
Use your support network
If you have close friends and family who you trust, now is the time to rely on them and seek their support and love. You have probably been there for them at some point or will in the future. This is one of the toughest things you will have to endure; do not do it alone.
Many are tempted to overindulge during the holidays, whether it is alcohol or other libations. Just remember that you need to think clearly and be focused on taking care of yourself and your children. Poor decisions now can haunt you for decades. You need your wits, so stay sharp and sober.
How To Protect Yourself And Still Enjoy The Holidays
While you will absolutely have stresses during your divorce, just keep things in perspective. Millions of other Americans have successfully survived the process. Keep good notes, document the dates you see your kids, document conversations with your spouse, and keep in touch with your lawyer. It should always be your goal to reach a quick and amicable divorce settlement, so if you are going through a divorce during the holidays, you should start by contacting an experienced Providence divorce lawyer at Gemma Law Associates, Inc., who can help you sort out the issues and give you some peace of mind. Contact us today for a consultation and to learn how we can be of assistance.