Divorce is a tough thing to plan and discuss, but it’s especially tricky to navigate during the holiday season at the end of the year. A time that is often meant for family time, peace, and joy doesn’t fit the complicated legal situation, financial complexities, and introduction of LGBT family law attorneys that go along with separating. However, if you and your partner are planning on moving forward with divorce, here are a few tips we recommend considering to help you decide when to start the process.
Should You Separate Now or After the Holidays?
Whether you and your partner have been considering divorce for a while or your relationship has recently deteriorated, separating during the holidays will add an extra layer to your decision-making. You may be more inclined to avoid the confusion by staying together longer, however that is sometimes either not possible, extremely difficult or just a delay of the inevitable. Whether or not it is the holiday season certainly can add new considerations and difficulties in starting the divorce process, it does not have to and can be as good a time as any time to begin the process. Every relationship is different, so what works for one couple may not work for you.
How Would it Affect Your Children?
If you share children with your partner, often your first concern is how starting your separation may affect your children now and in the future. While each situation will vary and no parent wants to upset their children, you may find yourself unable to delay the separation. In many ways, it can be easier to wait until the holidays are over to take the step to separate and/or divorce. For instance, you may be worried about how to afford to give your children gifts, you may wish to celebrate the holidays together or you may be unable to separate given the time of year. Regardless of your situation, separation will likely be difficult regardless of what time of year it is and it may be better to make the move sooner than later. The decision is yours to make and depends entirely on your unique circumstances.
Consider the Entire Divorce Timeline
Ask any LGBT divorce lawyer how long separation will take and they will likely tell you the same thing: divorce proceedings can take time. Many couples choose to try mediation first to avoid paying attorneys or the court system, but sometimes mediation is not a viable option. The controlling factor of how long it will take is whether or not you and your spouse can reach an agreement. If you can, you can divorce extremely quickly and the entire process may take only a few days to a few weeks. If you and your partner cannot agree and Court intervention is needed, the process can take much longer. If your concern is that you’ll need to turn your whole life upside down the moment you start the paperwork, you’ll be relieved to know that there’s no need to rush and that steps may be taken to ensure a gradual change, at least at first.
How Will Your Living Situation Change in Response?
Depending upon what part of the state you’re in, the holiday season and winter can bring a lot of snow, icy roads, and all around cold weather. If you choose to separate, consider how that may impact who lives where and where you or your parent will live. It is not uncommon for divorcing couples to stay living together through the process, but it’s more common for conflict to be high enough that cohabitating is no longer possible. Winter weather can be an additional factor to consider. Waiting it out and staying “together” until the new year may result in an easier time finding a new home for one of you and less likelihood of paying holiday premiums with moving-related expenses, or it may be as good a time as any.
How Early or Late Is It in the Holiday Season?
One of the toughest aspects of the divorce process is creating a parenting plan, something that can takes weeks or months of time and negotiations to nail down outside of the busy holiday season. If you and your partner have children and want to separate, you can make it much easier by trying to come to agreements before-hand. Obviously, this is not always possible and that’s okay. Regardless, if Thanksgiving is next week or you’re halfway through December already, it may take a bit longer to get where you’d like to be when you factor in the holidays.
However you choose to move forward, if you’re contemplating divorce and want someone in your corner that will approach your case with the compassion you need over the holidays, consider calling the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer. Our LGBT divorce lawyers will be there to guide you and ensure you get what you need to make future holiday memories in your new life.