Reasons to Delay Divorce ‘Till After the Holidays

166286138When you’ve decided to get a divorce, sometimes it seems as though you can’t stand to be married to your partner for one more minute. While this is a natural sentiment, unless you’re in an abusive situation, you may want to wait to divorce until after the holidays.

Reasons Not to File Yet

If the winter holidays are fast approaching, here are some reasons to delay signing those divorce papers until after the New Year:

  1. Avoid the Holiday Frenzy

The holidays are often a time of heightened emotions, even for those who have had relatively happy and healthy childhoods. The holidays are a time to reflect, to consider what the past year as entailed and to make plans for the future. However, despite all this peaceful reflecting, it is also a time of long lines, stressed out friends and family and the pressure of getting just the right presents and preparing just the right food. Unless you and your spouse are going through an incredibly civil divorce with no children, no assets and no resentment, divorcing during the holidays will most likely only compound the stress factor.

  1. Give the Children a Calm Holiday

Especially if you and your spouse have been married with children for a while, you may not want to disrupt their lives right before the holidays. You most likely have traditions in place that the children are used to each year. Making changes to this tradition right before it occurs can create tension and upset. See if you can make an agreement with your spouse to focus on the children for a couple weeks and then move on with your separate lives at the start of the new year.

  1. Simplify Your Taxes

Tax season can be a mess after a divorce, especially if the divorce happened near the end of the preceding year. While it may seem trite to let the New Year ring in before legally changing your filing status, it can save you a major headache down the road.

  1. Resist Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Since holidays are stressful in and of themselves, if you divorce during the holidays, you may find yourself coping in unhealthy ways. You might overspend on presents as a way to numb any emotions, or you might find yourself overeating or buying things you don’t need. January 1st naturally provides a renewed sense of calm and focus, and it can be a better time to make a major life change.

  1. Bonuses

If you rely on your spouse’s income and are legally owed half of what your spouse earns at the divorce, you may want to wait until after your spouse has received the end of the year bonus before legally divorcing.

Ultimately, only you know what is right for you and your family, but these considerations can help you make a confident choice.

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Creating A Long Distance Custody Plan For Your Kids And Your Ex

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Regular contact and shared custody is always important for families in divorce situations, and long distance shared custody can be hard on everyone involved.  However, a manageable long-distance custody plan can be worked out in such a way that everyone benefits.  The key to making these types of plans work for everyone is detailed planning and taking into account the needs of each family member.  A long distance parenting plan should cover the following aspects:

Routine Monthly Visits

Some long-distance custody arrangements will require regular monthly, or even semi-monthly visits.  This type of plan works best when there is ample notice given and open communication between both parents.  However, depending on distance and scheduling, such visits can become quite disruptive to the lives of the children and can become rather expensive.  In these circumstances, it may be better to schedule visits over long school breaks and holidays.

Time During School Breaks

To help make up for lost time during the normal school year, arrangements can be made for children to spend time with the non-residential parent over school breaks, holidays, and the summer.  In fact, in these circumstances, children may spend a large majority of their summers and breaks with this parent.  The non-residential parent should always consult the school calendar that corresponds with the district the children are in when making plans for visitations.

Major Holidays

Family holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, are generally split between each parent.  Most parents prefer having the children for at least one major holiday per year and the holiday can alternate.  Additionally, longer holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day should be a designated time for the out of state parent to spend with the children.

Communication and Planning

A long distance parenting plan will go smoother for all involved if parents communicate about their intentions, desires, and plans.  Both parents should be fully aware of their children’s school calendar and be willing to develop a visitation schedule based on that.

Work with an Attorney

An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through developing and executing a long-distance parenting plan.  This will allow both parents the time and opportunities they need to stay connected to their children.

Long distance custody and parenting plans are not easy.  However, with open communication and ample planning time, they can work for all who are involved.  Parents should be willing to communicate and compromise, as well as plan family time and vacations well in advance.  Hiring a family attorney can help your parenting plan run as smoothly as possible.

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