Because of the increase in divorce filings following the holiday season, January has earned the moniker “divorce month” in family law circles. According to studies, divorce filings rise during the months of August and March, which are considered “calm pauses” between holidays and back-to-school events.
It’s easy to see why divorce filings fall near the end of the year. For many families, the holidays can be an emotional and nostalgic time. They might provide couples with the false hope that their relationship can be healed. They can also subject divorced spouses to a slew of unwanted questions from family members who have come to town for the holiday weekend.
Because every family is unique, a divorce timeline that works for one couple may not work for another. Here are a few things to think about if you’re thinking about filing for divorce before the holidays.
- Is there a mutual desire for divorce?
It is not advisable to serve divorce papers on a spouse shortly before the holidays. If both couples agree to divorce and the processes are likely to be amicable, the timeliness of the filing is less critical. Couples can always wait until after the holidays to make the formal announcement.
- Are you in urgent danger, or do you live in a poisonous environment?
The holiday calendar is meaningless if you are in an abusive relationship. If required, you should seek quick assistance from a lawyer and law enforcement.
- Do you have a good co-parenting relationship?
Waiting a month or two to file for divorce can feel like an eternity if you’re in a high-conflict relationship. Children are also incredibly intuitive, and they may detect a divorce before their parents have a chance to make the announcement. If you can effectively conceal the stress between you and your spouse, it may be worthwhile to postpone filing until after the holidays.
- Will the divorce be more amicable after the holidays?
During the holiday season, some couples quarrel more. If this sounds familiar, you should postpone your divorce filing until after the holidays. Experiencing the divorce procedure during an already acrimonious season would further exacerbate the process.
- Can you withstand additional stress on top of the financial and emotional strains of the holidays?
Holidays may be expensive and stressful on their own, especially if they require hosting or travel. If you are already over-committed, postponing the divorce until after the new year may be worthwhile.
- Will having family nearby help you manage or add to your anxiety?
If having family close can help you cope with the stress and sadness of divorce, filing during the holidays may be in your best interests. If your family is known to cause you to worry, it may be best to postpone filing and announcing until they are far, far away.
- Can you keep up the act, or will it backfire?
It is not for everyone to put on a pleasant front during the holiday season. Follow your instincts and do what is best for your mental health if you believe this dynamic will generate more conflict and sorrow than it is worth.
- Will you require professional aid right away?
Lawyers, counselors, doctors, judges, and mediators are just a few of the professionals who may be unable to work during the holidays. Due to the restricted availability, the divorce process may be postponed until the new year. If the divorce is amicable and you hope to reach an agreement before the holidays, you should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible.
- Should We Tell The Kids After The Holidays If We’ve Already Filed?
Nobody wants their children to equate the festive spirit with the sadness of a divorce. As a result, many parents postpone filing until after the New Year.
Some divorcing parents want to spend “one last Christmas together” with their children before making the big announcement. This is an appealing concept in principle, but it does not always work in practice. In high-conflict relationships, celebrating separately can save children from the additional stress of witnessing their parent’s quarrel again. Children are always more perceptive than we realize.
Depending on the age of the children, post-holiday divorce news may fool some. It implies that the parents were not sincere throughout the Christmas festivities. This can lead to trust and resentment difficulties in the future. Family counseling can assist youngsters in processing these complex emotions.
Divorce represents a significant change in lifestyle. Everyone in the family will need to adjust for quite some time. Divided holidays will not necessarily be worse than before; they will simply be different.
If children have time to process the divorce before the holidays, they may be willing to help create new family customs. Make sure your parenting plan includes a holiday schedule, regardless of when you file for divorce.
Consult With A New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
Timing is everything in life, as it is in most things. You should give careful consideration to how, where, and when you ask your husband for a divorce and notify your loved ones.
However, if you dig hard enough, you will find a reason to postpone filing for divorce. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, soccer games, cold and flu season, summer camps, and graduations are just a few examples.
The divorced couple cannot always control the schedule, but they can make decisions together that minimize the children’s stress and suffering.
A reputable divorce attorney can assist you in developing a timeframe that is in the best interests of your family.