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Why spouses wait until the holidays are over to divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2018 | Family Law, Firm News

While the Christmas season is often labeled as “The most wonderful time of the year,” it can be anything but for married couples that are struggling with their relationship. Thousands of workers get several days off and get the chance to spend it with their loved ones, but what if someone doesn’t want to be with their loved one?

However, despite the pressure and stress that comes with planning Christmas vacations, December doesn’t tend to have a lot of divorces when compared to the other months. A study by The Washington Post examined the divorce rates of every month between 2001 and 2015 in Washington state and found that December had the least amount of separations by a long shot. So why do so many couples wait until January to end their marriage? Knowing the reasons why could give you some ideas on how to approach your marital problems around Christmas.

One last chance

The last few months of the year feature holidays that encourages families to come together to celebrate. The sentimental emotions that arise during this time of year is why many believe that couples choose not to divorce right before Christmas. These days provide one last opportunity for the couple to see if their relationship can hold up. They can either prove that the two spouses still have what it takes to have happy lives together, or it can show that their marriage just isn’t working.

A University of Washington sociologist believes there is a “relentless cultural optimism” associated with the holidays. She claims that the “quasi-sacred” end of the year traditions can only intensify that feeling of something missing among married couples. While the holidays are a good opportunity to see how your marriage can hold up, going in with unreasonable high expectations can make the recovery process difficult.

Holding out for the kids

Pennsylvania parents struggling with their marriages have an additional task of ensuring a memorable Christmas for their children. The kids may not know that this may be their last Christmas with both of their parents under the same roof. Spouses that have a good feeling that they will be separating after New Year’s struggle to maintain a happy demeanor holding a devastating secret from their children, but they feel it may be necessary.

Informing your kids about your upcoming divorce can be a struggle for both you and your children. Those feelings of being together for the holidays arguably resonate more with kids than their parents, so choosing to tell them you are divorcing around Christmas time means you are telling them during one of the most emotionally vulnerable times of the year for them. If you wait for just after the festivities are over, then they have more time to adjust to the revelation before summer vacation and the next holiday break.

Christmas might be one of the happiest or most dreadful times of the year for struggling couples. Regardless of how you choose to approach the holidays, you should be aware of the potential legal options at your disposal in case your marriage can’t survive before or after December ends.

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