The holidays are a time for togetherness and family — after all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? But for couples going through a divorce or separation, the holidays can add even more tension to an already stressful time. Most divorces come with heavy emotional responses as two people sort through the life they’ve made together and try to determine the best way to end it. However, taking a “time out” for Christmas parties, family get-togethers and forced togetherness can cause anger and resentment even in the most peaceful of people.
If you’re going through a divorce, your entire life is changing rapidly, often with little control or input from you. You may have standing holiday traditions — you eat Christmas Eve dinner at Grandma’s with the whole family or you spend the first day of Hanukkah at Aunt Carol’s, lighting the menorah and opening gifts.
In such a time of change, these traditions may fall by the wayside or they may become even more important to hold on to. No matter how you decide to handle the holidays, what’s critical is keeping calm and staying focused on the joy of the season and doing what’s best for your family and your future.
Bring in the Family
If you and your spouse have kids together, the holidays become even more challenging. You may not want to step foot in your ex’s house (or vice versa), but family get-togethers and holiday parties may require you both to be in the same space. When this happens, especially in the presence of others who may not be aware of your situation or who may be too inebriated to really be tactful, you both will be under a lot of pressure to keep things peaceful.
Keep Your Cool
Losing your temper is obviously never planned, but sometimes it’s almost unavoidable, especially when you add in forced holiday spirit, alcohol and family members. However, losing your temper at your ex-spouse could cause serious damage to your divorce case. If you are fighting for custody or visitation of your kids, your ex could use a temper tantrum or violent fight to convince a judge that you are an unfit parent. If things really get out of hand, your ex could start legal trouble for you outside of the divorce by filing for protective custody or seeking a restraining order.
Being forced to confront the end of your marriage is never easy, and it can be even harder to do when you’re trying to keep things as normal as possible for the holiday season. If you’re having trouble handling the holidays with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, contact a New Jersey domestic violence lawyer at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA today to discuss your options. One wrong move can mean a world of trouble in a divorce case, and dealing with the holiday strain may prove to be the “wrong move” that could change your future.