Navigating A Divorce During The Holidays

Divorce is tough. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, divorce represents the end of one chapter and the start of a new one. The drastic change is often challenging, but it is especially difficult during the holidays. With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas only one month after that, the team at Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C. thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this week's blog to those of you who may be in the midst of a divorce this holiday season. Keep reading to find some suggestions for making the process easier.

Divorce & The Holiday Season

The holiday season is supposed to be a time filled with family and friends, laughter and warmth. It is a time to gather around the table with those you love as you celebrate gratitude and family. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out like that.

Divorce happens for countless reasons. No matter the reasons or extenuating circumstances, divorce is always tough on spouses, children, and extended family. The difficulty of the transition is especially prominent during the holidays - a time which would otherwise be dedicated to the idyllic scene we just described.

How To Navigate The Holidays During A Divorce

If you are in the middle of a divorce, there are a couple of things you can do to make this holiday season easier on yourself and your family. Here are a few suggestions by our family attorneys in Camden County MO:

1. Outline The Custody/Visitation Schedule Ahead Of Time.
Determining who will get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's with the children is arguably the most challenging aspect of getting divorced during the holiday season. If you and your spouse are separated, you will have to decide which one of you gets the children on the official holidays. Work with your attorney well in advance of your family gatherings to agree on a visitation schedule. Finalizing this agreement ahead of time will help you avoid unnecessary conflict and stress once the big days arrive.

2. Keep Your Family Close.
One mistake divorcing couples make is isolating themselves from their extended family members. They may fear ridicule or judgment from their parents or other family, and as a result spend much of the holiday season alone. However, isolation only serves to make a difficult process even more challenging. Identify the family members you can trust to be supportive, and keep them close during the holiday season.

3. Familiarize Yourself With Expectations.
Most Courts have certain expectations of how parents should handle visitation with children during a pending divorce. These guidelines tend to be basic, general guidelines that apply to every couple going through a divorce. They may vary by county and state, but some examples of expectations include prohibiting a divorcing spouse from...
  • Talking negatively about the other parent in front of the children;
  • Preventing the other parent from seeing the children (unless specifically permitted by the Court); and
  • Spending significant amounts of money while the divorce is pending.

Typically, these expectations come into effect as soon as the divorce is filed and sometimes even upon separation. Talk to your Lake of the Ozarks divorce lawyer to identify what guidelines you will be expected to follow, and make sure you stay within those limits during the holiday season.

Facing Divorce? Contact PMCW.

If you are preparing for a divorce, we hope you'll consider reaching out to one of our family lawyers in Camdenton MO. Our team has significant experience representing divorcing couples and understands the unique needs and challenges often faced during the process. We would be honored to represent you. For more information about our family law services, visit our website.

Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising. When you need a knowledgeable attorney, we invite you to contact us to set up a consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. We have access to interpreters.

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