For some, holidays can be a great time to celebrate the season with friends and family, but for others, it can be a very stressful time of year. If your relationship is on the rocks heading into the holidays, the extra stress could push you over the edge.
Family Law Attorney Katie Lammers says she often sees an influx of divorce petitions this time of year, and it continues through new year, as January is the most popular month for divorce. Today, Katie discusses navigating divorce during the holidays.
We see two main trends with clients during the holiday season:
- People either want to wait on starting the process until “after the holidays,” hoping to preserve feelings for the kids, save face with family, or just delay the extra stress until after the hectic holiday season; or
- We see an influx of inquiries into Orders for Protection or Harassment Restraining Orders. The stress of the holiday season, coupled with already strained relations is enough to make some situations boil over into either a truly dangerous situation or a perceived situation of danger.
My advice for anyone considering divorce during the holidays is, if you can wait, then wait, but if divorce truly is imminent and not just a symptom of the holiday season, it is a good idea to talk to a Family Law attorney about your options. You don’t have to file for divorce right away, but talking to a professional about the pros and cons of the timing is a good idea.
Finally, it’s important to remember that there rarely is a “good time” to divorce. There will always be a vacation, holiday, birthday, conference, work trip or other life event around the corner. If you can, talk to your spouse about where you are coming from.
Divorces can take a long time to complete and starting the process in a respectful way can help carry that sentiment through the entire process and help set the tone for the divorce. Of course, this isn’t always practical or safe. In those cases, your attorney can help you with an action plan or a safety plan when starting the process.
If you are in a divorce or custody case during the holidays, whether it has just begun or has been dragging on for months, remember to take care of yourself and to try to find some enjoyment in the season, whether it is with your child, other family members, a good friend or just a quiet moment alone.