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Surviving the Holidays While Going Through a Divorce

Posted on December 18, 2023 by Mina Saudagaran

The holiday season can exacerbate certain challenges for those going through a divorce. However, if you are mindful of these challenges, you can prepare for them so that you can still find time to get much needed rest. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays this year:

  1. Plan ahead for holiday spending

If you are the “financially disadvantaged” spouse, consider how much you can afford to spend on holiday gifts or travel this year. You and your attorney may have already prepared a budget in which you estimated your monthly expenses after separation. If not, you can use this link to download a copy of the court’s financial declaration form. Use it to see if there are any categories of expenses you have forgotten about that you may want to factor into your budget.

  1. Avoid blaming your spouse in front of your kids

Kids of divorcing parents may struggle more during the holidays because they are home from school and more attuned to tension at home. It might be tempting to tell your kids that the current situation is the other parent’s fault. However, this is a bad idea for several reasons. First, it may violate the terms of the temporary parenting plan if the plan states that neither parent shall make disparaging remarks about the other in front of the kids. Second, even if there is no parenting plan in place, such behavior may affect a future parenting plan if your spouse claims that you were trying to turn the kids against him or her. Finally, consider if blaming your spouse is likely to help your kids feel better. You will probably conclude that it isn’t.

  1. Be flexible

Understand that how you spend your holidays this year may be different from past years, and that is okay. The annual family trip to Hawaii may not happen, or your kids may go visit their grandparents on your spouse’s side without you. Once you can accept this change, you can start thinking about making new memories rather than dwelling on the loss of past traditions.

  1. Ask your attorney if they are taking time off

If you have deadlines coming up in your case or you anticipate specific conflicts over the holidays, check with your attorney to see if there are dates when it might be hard to reach them due to holiday travel, etc. Your attorney will likely provide you with the contact information for a paralegal, legal assistant, and/or associate who can respond to you more quickly in the event they are unavailable.

  1. Try to get some rest

No one can deny that divorce is tiring and can feel endless at times. As a result, it is important for you to find time to recharge. Use your time off from work to partake in activities that you find relaxing, whether that’s staying cozy at home or going on a fun outing. Make it a priority to give yourself a mental and emotional break.

If you are going through a family transition at this – or any time – the Family Law team at Lasher is here to help.