The holidays are centering points for families, but how do you handle the holidays when dealing with divorce, or when a broken relationship has you wondering, “How can I celebrate anything?” How can you embrace Thanksgiving, sing about “Joy to the World,” light the candles on the menorah, or tell the stories of Kwanza when your life is crumbling all around you? To help you move from grief to celebration it’s important to remember your divorce is: 1. Not the end of your life. 2. Not the end of your family. 3. Not the end of your happiness. 4. Not the end of your holidays. Things will change, you will definitely get the joy back, and you just might find that the true meaning of the holidays will shine brighter than ever. Remember the reason for the season. Take some time to nourish your spirit in whatever way has the most meaning for you, whether it’s going to church services, visiting with friends, or taking a walk through the park. Volunteer at a local shelter to serve meals to the homeless, or volunteer to wrap presents for needy children. Helping others takes your mind off your own difficulties. If you are feeling blue about the upcoming holidays, try to focus on what you ARE thankful for. Most people feel much better about their lives when they take the time to sit down and think about what they have in their lives that are important to them. You will feel fortunate to have the good things in your life. More people file for divorce in the month of January than any other time of the year. Is it because the holidays are so stressful or because couples are just trying to get through one last season as a family? Regardless of the reason, or whether you are divorced, separated, or just thinking about it, remember to take care of YOU this holiday season.
Once you have reached the difficult conclusion that your marriage is over, opening the door to discussing divorce with your spouse is never easy. Yet the way that you choose to talk about a possible divorce may have an enormous impact on you and your family for many years. Should you carefully plan your legal strategy before talking to your spouse or should you be open and honest? Does the answer depend on whether you are more interested in protecting your money or your integrity? In truth, the answer may be the same either way. Yes, if you want to preserve the dignity of your family, protect your children from an adversarial divorce and honor your own sense of integrity, an open approach is likely to be your best choice. At the same time, if you want to protect your interests and make sure that you get the best financial result, your best choice is probably, and here is the big surprise, an open and honest approach. From working with families as a divorce lawyer for 30 years, it is clear to me that starting the divorce in an open and transparent manner almost always leads to a better outcome, in every respect. Secretly planning for the divorce and hiding your plans from your spouse will not lead to any advantages when the divorce happens, and will likely fuel fear and suspicion that can make your divorce a nightmare. Despite this reality, many attorneys will still advise clients to engage in secret divorce planning strategies that often help the lawyer more than they help the clients. Before taking these steps, you need to get a second opinion. One way to achieve this is to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Collaborative attorney.