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Divorce and the Holidays: When to File and How to Cope


While the holiday season is typically a time of joy and family gatherings, this time of year can prove to be especially stressful if divorce is imminent. In addition to the emotional toll of separation and the triggering of various memories, several different questions can present themselves during this time. Should you file for divorce before or after the holidays, and what can you do to cope with the change and help make the holiday season enjoyable for you and your family?

Filing Before vs. After the Holidays

Deciding an appropriate time to file for divorce is of particularly great concern during the holidays. Many couples choose to begin the divorce process before or during the holiday season simply because they cannot handle spending another holiday with their spouse or in-laws. This is understandable, especially if one of the reasons for a divorce is a spouse’s abusive behavior or tendency to openly bash their spouse in public.

On the flipside, others may choose to delay their filing until January in order to avoid ruining the holiday season for their family or children. Likewise, others may see the holidays or a holiday vacation as a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. This can backfire, however, as tension between spouses can be difficult to hide, especially around family or children.

Tips to Cope with a Holiday Divorce

Regardless of whether you choose to file before or after the holiday season, if divorce is near, the holidays will undoubtedly feel different and bring feelings of depression and anxiety. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to alleviate some of the holiday blues and preserve some enjoyment during this time.

  • Plan ahead and spend time with your close friends and family.
  • Consider taking a vacation to escape your situation and the associated memories.
  • Establish new traditions and memories with family and friends rather than dwelling on the past.
  • Make a list of everything you want to do during the holidays and do them in order.
  • Have realistic expectations.
  • Take care of yourself. Get a massage, eat right, exercise, and get restful sleep.
  • Take every day as it comes. While things may hurt in the meantime, life will get easier with time.

Simplify Your Divorce with Gill Law Group, PC

At Gill Law Group, PC, our Irvine family lawyers understand the immense anguish you must be experiencing during this difficult time and are prepared to do everything within our power to help you achieve a smooth transition. To find out more about how our team of award-winning advocates can guard your interests and assist you with your divorce, call (949) 681-9952 or contact us online today.