Even under the best of circumstances, a divorce often represents a turbulent emotional and financial time. From dividing assets to determining parenting responsibilities, the divorcing couple must work together to negotiate numerous compromises.
Many couples choose to dive headlong into the divorce process after the holidays. They reason that there is no better time to start fresh and begin a new life. Unfortunately, the holidays can represent a challenging time. From juggling schedules and extended family needs to impending debt and occupational depression, it can be almost impossible to reduce holiday stress. Here are three things in particular the divorcing couple should avoid:
- Avoid letting holiday emotions spill over: It’s no secret that a divorce can be an emotionally tumultuous time, but it is a mistake to carry any additional acrimony into the proceedings. Whether it is hurt feelings stemming from in-laws, arguments or financial stress, it is crucial that you keep these emotions completely separate from the divorce.
- Avoid sharing guilt with your children: As previously noted, emotions run high during the holidays and the weeks immediately after. Many divorcing couples let these emotions get the better of their interactions with their children. Snapping at the child and letting an interaction spiral out of control can signal that they are somehow partially responsible for the impending divorce.
- Avoid buying affection: On the other side of the spectrum from the previous point, some parents use the post-holiday period to lavish gifts, rewards and praise upon their children. Parents do this in the hopes of currying favor as the divorce proceeds. This is a transparent attempt to build favoritism and it will likely backfire.
With a divorce looming on the horizon, many people have trouble navigating the holiday season. This, unfortunately, only adds to the stress and frustration. Even if the divorce is the best course of action for the couple, it still represents a stressful, troubling process. It is crucial that people remain as courteous and professional as possible so they can quickly move toward their exciting, independent futures.