For the sake of preserving family dynamics, especially when children are involved, many couples wait until after the holidays to announce plans for divorce. But certain circumstances may prompt spouses to act beforehand.
Couples who choose to divorce around the holidays should consider various factors.
1. Extra Holiday Stress
A marriage teetering on the rocks is stressful for both parties. Add the hecticness of the holiday season to the mix, and an increase in unbearable stress is certain. Undue stress may be avoided by focusing on the holidays and the joy they bring rather than breaking up the marriage.
Spouses who choose to part ways are likely to have considered the decision for a long time. Waiting a month or two after the holidays to divorce is a doable option. Plus, keeping the family unit intact for the holidays gives everyone a chance to spend one more holiday together.
2. False Holiday Hope
Battling spouses may momentarily come together during the holiday season. These festive months are known to bring families closer. Partners may see this special time as a chance to rekindle their feelings. When passions fail to stir, even amidst the merriment, divorce will be the most appropriate action.
3. Supportive vs. Interfering Relatives
Pursuing divorce amidst the holidays is best when relatives are available to provide strong emotional support. Dissolving a union can be overwhelming, sad, and stressful. Individuals who expect to rely on nearby family to emotionally cope with a divorce are encouraged to file during the holidays.
Wait until after the holidays to divorce when family members are a source of stress. However, consider that putting on a happy front will not work for some individuals. When it is more trouble than it is worth, prioritize mental health and file for divorce even amidst the holidays.
Also remember that announcing the decision to divorce during the holidays will put the news front and center. Curious friends and family will impose with intrusive questions. But the weighty subject of divorce will be far from everyone’s mind when choosing to file until after the holidays are over.
5. Mounting Holiday Expenses
Families splurge during the holidays, giving gifts, hosting celebrations, and traveling. The financial drain brought on by the gift-giving season is taxing enough. Spouses on the brink of divorce should know that divorce, too, is expensive, doubling the financial demands if divorce occurs over the holidays.
Divorce expenses include hiring a qualified divorce attorney and working with mediators. Fees are required to file and serve; in Illinois, the average filing fee is $334. Also, in Illinois, the average cost of divorce and attorney fees can reach $10,000 or more. Complex divorces are pricier.
Also factor the additional expenses of divorce. Spouses may be compelled to pay for co-parenting classes. Psychiatric evaluations for both adults and children may be necessary. Plus, refinancing a mortgage or looking for new living situations after divorce will drain any budget.
An uncontested divorce will cost less. Successful negotiations between spouses are what keeps divorce costs low. When both spouses are amicable and in agreement, the timing of divorce is less important. In such situations, waiting until after the holidays to announce the divorce is preferable.
5. Toxic Family Environments
Despite the merriment of the holiday season, some couples may find themselves in toxic or abusive marriages. Under such dire circumstances, starting the divorce proceedings sooner rather than later is advisable. Divorce attorneys and law enforcement, if necessary, should be involved.
Disagreements usually arise during the stressful holiday season, especially for spouses who are in high-conflict relationships. Fighting during the holidays will increase. Avoid a surge in tension by delaying the divorce until after the season ends. Divorcing in the midst of it will intensify the contentiousness.
6. Protection of Children
Thoughtful spouses may be inclined to delay divorce proceedings until after the holidays for the sake of their children. The festive season is one of generosity and cheer, and children are eager to experience the wonderment. Announcing divorce during this time can rob them of their joy.
Setting irreconcilable differences aside, even for just an additional month, allows the children and both parents to spend one last holiday together as a family. The gift of family togetherness is one that children will cherish and remember long after the divorce is over.
7. Professionals’ Holiday Schedules
When filing for a divorce during the holidays, the professionals required to ensure the proceedings move forward may be available on a limited basis. Divorcing spouses will need to consult divorce lawyers, mediators, and doctors, who may be on vacation or otherwise unavailable during the holiday season.
As a result of these professionals’ limited availability, divorce proceedings are likely to be delayed until the new year. Spouses who plan on an amicable divorce, however, are advised to accelerate the process and reach an agreement before the holiday season begins.
Working with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Divorcing around the holiday season is a decision that requires carefully weighing a variety of individual circumstances. Whether you anticipate divorcing before, during or after the holiday festivities, you can always rely on the divorce attorneys at Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
Allen Gabe Law, P.C. is available when divorce becomes foreseeable. We are knowledgeable about the continually changing Illinois divorce laws and the divorce processes. Our divorce lawyers will work with you, whether you are pursuing a highly contested or uncontested divorce.
Our divorce lawyers are skilled in the many facets of divorce law. We have successfully represented individuals involved in child custody battles and domestic violence. Our firm has drafted prenuptial agreements, assisted with property divisions, and determined eligibility for spousal support.
When you are on the brink of divorce, consult the most respected divorce lawyer in the area, Allen Gabe Law, P.C. We remain loyal to the clients and families we serve. Individuals residing in Schaumburg, Illinois are advised to call for legal counsel when divorce proceedings are anticipated.
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