Heymann & Fletcher
November 29, 2019

Getting Through the Holidays Together When You Want a Divorce

Practice Area: Family Law | Tag: Divorce

Holiday Decorations

The holiday season can put a lot of stress on even the happiest of couples. For those who already feel unhappy in their marriage, a difficult holiday season could be the deciding factor between continuing to try to make the marriage work and seeking a divorce. All of that holiday stress is one of the reasons why divorce filings surge in the early months of the new year.

Not everyone who files for divorce in January or February realizes the day before Christmas that they aren't happy. Quite a few of them have known for several months that they no longer wanted to invest their time or energy in the marriage, but they decided to stay with their spouse through the holidays for the sake of simplicity or their children.

Filing before the holidays can be a headache for a number of reasons. If you want to divorce after the holidays, here are some helpful tips on surviving the next few weeks.

Back down from the arguments brewing

In a strained marriage, all kinds of issues can lead to explosive arguments. If you know that you want to divorce your spouse, you may feel tempted to really let them have it if you get into an argument around the holidays. After all, you won't have to worry about any collateral damage once you file for divorce.

However, giving in to that acrimonious attitude will not benefit you or anyone else in your family. Getting into big fights now could lead you to say or do something that could impact the holidays for everyone in your family or make your divorce more complicated later on.

While it can be difficult to do so, try to embrace the fact that you know the end is in sight and let go of the little issues that annoy you during the holidays. You can address them after you file for divorce or choose to let them go permanently since you won't have to deal with them during the next holiday season.

Make sure you focus on the kids

If you and your spouse share children, chances are good that this may be the last holiday season where you all share your celebrations together without any complicating factors.

Instead of focusing on how stressed or miserable you feel, really try to make some beautiful memories for your children to hold onto in the weeks to come. Your children can be a great motivator for keeping your complaints or irritation in check.

Spend a little time gathering documentation

Once you officially tell your spouse that you want a divorce, your relationship will inevitably change. Things may become even more contentious and difficult in your house. People reeling from the announcement of an impending divorce often do shady or borderline illegal things such as destroying or hiding important assets or financial records.

In the weeks before you file, you will have an opportunity to make physical or digital copies of income and tax records, purchase records and other important financial documentation from your marriage. Doing that now will make it easier for you to move forward with the divorce filing regardless of how difficult your spouse is during that process.

Remember to focus on the big picture

If you don't have children or if the children in your family aren't biologically related to both you and your spouse, you may feel less motivation to avoid conflict during the holidays. Focusing on the big picture, which includes safely and securely leaving your marriage for a happier life situation is a good way to keep your priorities straight.

You don't want to do anything now that will make divorce any harder than it has to be. By keeping things amicable and holding your proverbial cards close to your chest, you can make it through the holiday season without sabotaging your plans to divorce or ruining the holidays for anyone you love.