The decision to divorce your spouse is a big one, especially during this time of year. While usually joyous, the holiday season can have added stresses if you announce your intention to file for divorce. Experts are torn on whether or not you should delay your plans till after the New Year, but one thing they can agree on, is that your decision should not be taken lightly.
Making the decision to separate from your spouse public can, and most likely will, cause tension between you and your in-laws and ruin any holiday plans you had with them. They may view your announcement as bothersome or a hassle because they will have to rethink and reorganize the family get together.
Some experts believe that you should refrain from filing for divorce until after the holiday season if there are children involved. Parents spend a great deal of time focusing on providing a fun and happy holiday season for their children, full of traditions and gift giving. By suddenly plopping the notion of divorce into their laps, the feelings of anxiety and confusion may be associated with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, or Christmas for the remainder of their childhood. While every child reacts to their parent's divorce differently, at the very least, the current holiday season will be much harder for your child.
On the other hand, meeting with an experienced attorney and filing for divorce as soon as possible may be the right decision for you. If you are in an abusive relationship, be it physical, verbal or emotional, you shouldn't remain in the marriage just to please family or friends who may not be aware of how damaging your relationship is. Furthermore, it is imperative that you remove your children from the toxic environment, not only so they can enjoy the season, but so they are not exposed to any form of abuse. An attorney can request that a judge issue an Order of Protection to help protect you and your children.
Perhaps your marriage isn't abusive, but there is a lot of tension and hostility between you and your spouse. In this particular situation, you have a few different options when it comes to filing for divorce. You can either quietly file for divorce but agree with your spouse to not tell family or friends, file and inform family and friends, or you can decide to not file for divorce until after the holiday season. Regardless of your decision, you should meet with an attorney to discuss the best course of action for your pending case. If there are children involved, and you and your spouse are opting to spend the holidays apart, you will need to agree on a co-parenting plan.
Deciding to file for divorce is a very personal decision, especially during the holidays. You might consider the feelings of your loved ones and how a divorce will affect them, but ultimately, it is your decision. There is no right or wrong answer, and no right or wrong path to take. For more information on divorce in the New York City area, contact the matrimonial law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates at (646) 759-0167 or (718) 875-7584.