The holiday season – it should be a time of joy, happiness and thankfulness. However, for many individuals trapped in an unhappy or unfulfilling marriage, the holiday season may be an especially difficult time of year. The pressure to put on a façade to others that everything is perfect is often overwhelming. As a result, it may stand to reason that the holidays should be the time when most couples seek to divorce. In our experience as Atlanta divorce attorneys though, the opposite is true.
“If we can make it through the holidays, maybe everything will be fine.” “Everything is going so well, leaving now would be a mistake.” Or, “Just one more holiday together, for the kids.” If you have had these or similar thoughts concerning your relationship during the holidays, then you may be holding out for the holidays. If so, rest assured that you are not alone. Many individuals in failing marriages struggle through the holidays in an effort to save their marriage. But, as our firm has experienced year after year, January is the time that we experience a spike in individuals seeking to initiate their divorce proceedings. Why? Because after the magic of the holidays has subsided, reality sets in again – the marriage is struggling and there is no solution in sight.
If you find yourself holding out for the holidays, know that you are not alone, but also know there are certain things that you can do now to prepare yourself for the inevitable.
- Try not to accumulate large amounts of credit card debt during the holiday season. This will only make the division of assets and debts more difficult upon divorce.
- Do not make promises you cannot keep. The holiday season is often an emotional time, and it may be hard to resist making promises to your spouse regarding you relationship – but resist it.
- Begin gathering essential documents you will need for the divorce such as tax returns, paycheck stubs, billing statements.
- Start to consider how you will tell your spouse and children. These are bound to be extremely difficult conversations, and it is best to have a well thought out plan before approaching them.