Holidays and divorce: Wait until festivities end or move forward now?

With the divorce rate in the United States continuing to hover around fifty percent, odds are high that couples are considering filing for a divorce during the holiday season. Some couples will choose to move forward with the divorce before the holidays begin while others will wait until after the celebrations are complete. Making the decision to file for a divorce is difficult on its own, but picking the right time to complete the paperwork and begin the process can also pose problems.

Waiting until the last holiday party is over to move forward with a divorce is not uncommon. A recent article in The Huffington Post highlighted this trend, with legal experts noting a spike in divorce petitions after the first of the year.

Waiting until after the holiday season

Those who wait until after the festivities are complete to move forward with a divorce may intend to have one last year of holiday memories with loved ones or one last attempt to save the marriage. These good intentions can come with a price. The individual that plans on moving forward with a divorce after the holidays is withholding sharing this information with his or her current spouse. Divorce experts noted in the Huffington Post article that the tension tied to this decision can lead to the release of stress hormones tied to anxiety, depression and even heart disease.

Moving forward with the divorce during the holiday season

If you do chose to move forward with the separation, the holiday season could provide an opportunity to start making new rituals. A recent article in Psychology Today touched on the subject, noting that those going through a divorce are facing a challenging period in their lives. In the article, a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) stated new rituals can help relieve some of the stress tied to the separation process.

Psychology experts also recommend attempting to avoid commercialism. Popular holiday movies and many ads focus on happy families enjoying celebrations together. Avoid these images. Instead, focus on things that are uplifting like an upcoming trip or a gathering with friends.

Importance of legal counsel

Regardless of your decision to move forward with a divorce now or to wait a few months, it is important to seek the counsel of experienced divorce attorneys. These legal professionals not only help to better ensure your legal rights are protected and you get a fair share of assets during the property division portion of the divorce, but this professional can also help the process to move forward as smoothly as possible.