Should you separate from your spouse before Christmas?
Written by Jennifer Moshier

Should you separate from your spouse before Christmas?

Christmas is the culmination of the holiday season in the United States. For some, it’s a religious holiday. Others simply enjoy the time off from work or school. For married couples who are breaking up, it can be a pain-filled, stressful time of year. If you’re planning to divorce, should you separate from your spouse before Christmas or wait a few more weeks?

Reasons to Stay Together

If you can get through the holiday season without separating, you may want to try. Significant changes, such as divorce, are often associated with the events surrounding them. Do you really want to remember your separation each Christmas? Spare yourself and your family from thinking of your divorce each Christmas season.

One of the biggest reasons people stay together during the holidays is for their children. Christmas is a magical time and your children are only young once; however, if staying together means their Christmas memories are full of fighting, is it worth it? If you and your spouse commit to staying together until after the holidays, agree to keep the tension as private as possible.

A separation during the holiday season will be disruptive. From deciding who goes to which events, to figuring out your living situation and who’s going to pay for what, you’ll have a lot of logistics to work out with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

Holiday cheer, nostalgia and stress can confuse anyone’s logical thought process. Whether the sentimental side of the holidays has you wanting to give your marriage “one more try,” or the stress of it all has you ready to walk away and never look back, give yourself some time to regroup after the holidays. Think through your decision to divorce with a clear, new year’s perspective.

Reasons to Separate from Your Spouse Before Christmas

The weeks leading up to Christmas may seem like the most hectic time of the year to make such a major decision. In some cases, the days off from work or school may actually provide you with a little extra time to plan, prepare and pack. Giving your children time to process the news over winter break may also be beneficial.

There are a few financial considerations when separating from your spouse before Christmas. If you file for divorce before the holidays, the reality of living on a smaller income can curtail spending sprees. Adjusting your budget before you begin your holiday shopping can help you start your new life off on the right path. Talk to a financial advisor or tax accountant to discuss how your divorce date impacts taxes, end-of-year bonus money, child support payments and more.

Happiness and health are common on a grown-up Christmas wish list. If the stress of your marriage is “driving you to drink” or giving you recurring headaches or stomachaches, it’s time to seriously consider moving forward with your separation or divorce. While the timing might not be ideal, your health is a priority.

Waiting to separate isn’t always an option. If you’re miserable in your marriage and it’s affecting your happiness or health during this festive time of year, why wait? Your stressful holiday season may feel much more manageable when you take the steps toward making a change in your life.

Get the Support You Need

Christmas is a time filled with celebration and joy. Many people also feel extra pressure and scrutiny surrounding the last weeks of the year. A network of friends, family and other sources of support are vital to getting through the holidays.

If this is your last Christmas before you separate from your spouse, it’s all about making it through the day. Try to keep your grief and frustration out of the joyous celebrations you attend. While you may be tempted to share your stress with extended family and mutual friends, try to keep the conversation on happy memories.

If you’re ready to move forward with your separation, you may want to consider collaborative divorce. This process utilizes a team of attorneys, communication specialists and neutral financial professionals to support you during your divorce. You and your spouse will work with this team to reach a family-first, mutually agreeable outcome outside of the traditional courtroom setting. If you’re ready to move forward, contact Best Legal Choices today.