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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How to Handle Festive Season if you’re Facing Divorce

If you’re on the brink of a divorce, Christmas probably isn’t something you’re looking forward to. Even if you are the one pushing for a separation, things can still be very difficult during the festive season when people are celebrating and making plans. 

Going through the divorce procedure at any time of year is often stressful; dividing matrimonial assets, agreeing on arrangements for children and having to make new living arrangements are all separately and collectively demanding. In this article, we provide some practical tips on how you can survive the festivities this year. 

Try to switch off from divorce matters

Granted, it’s not easy to turn your thoughts and emotions off at the flick of a switch. But if you can make a conscious effort to compartmentalise your divorce over the holidays, this will serve you and your peace of mind well. 

Divorce matters can take over things, not just in terms of having to gather documents, look through finances, speak to solicitors and make child arrangements, but also from an emotional perspective. If you are at loggerheads with your ex, the idea of seeing them over Christmas and New Year may make you feel dread. So, before the holiday activities get underway, try to shelve some of the divorce related matters until January. You are within your rights to put up these boundaries, so don’t worry about explaining to your family lawyer that you need a mental break from things. This break will give you time to wind down, reset, and help you gain more clarity on issues you have been struggling with.

Remain as amicable as possible 

It can, unfortunately, be impossible to remain friendly with your ex in certain cases, for example, if you have experienced some form of domestic violence or your partner is determined to make things difficult. However, when you can remain on good terms, not only will this help you over the Christmas break, but it will serve you well throughout your divorce. 

Divorcing couples who are amenable with each other, are those that are less likely to have to go through costly court proceedings. It’s particularly important to try and stay amicable with your ex through a divorce if you have children too. The holidays are important for children and you don’t want to ruin their memories by fighting with their other parent. Similarly, if you are the one who initiated your divorce, this could be a more difficult time for your ex, so try to act empathetic towards them. 

Prioritise planning and communication 

Planning your Christmas ahead of time will help you visualise and accept what your upcoming festive break will look like. If it’s very different from previous years, for example, if your children won’t be with you on Christmas Day, thinking about plans ahead will give you time to adjust to the idea and make alternative plans. 

If your children will be with you some of the time, and their other parent the rest, open a conversation with your ex about how you will plan each day. For example, if your children enjoy the tradition of seeing paternal grandparents on Boxing Day, make sure this still happens. Firm up plans with all parties and let your children know what is happening. During the holidays, if plans unexpectedly change, make sure you communicate this to your ex as this could impact their plans too.

Conclusion 

Handling the festive season with a divorce looming is by no means fun, but with careful planning, consideration for all parties and putting any children’s needs as a priority will help things run as smoothly as possible as you await your fresh start in the New Year.

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