5 things to keep in mind about your divorce and the holidays

When it comes to volatile combinations, the holidays and a pending divorce are perhaps the most caustic. This is true whether you live here in Massachusetts or thousands of miles away in another state.

But it’s how you handle these two stressful events that will determine whether you finish the year on a high note or if you’ll find your name on Santa’s naughty list next year. Let’s take a look at five things just about everyone should keep in mind about their divorce this holiday season.

Do it for the kids. Just like with custody decisions, the choices you make this holiday season should also have your children’s best interests in mind. Consider how travelling will affect them or if it will impact standing traditions with your family. Though you may not think it’s a good idea, ask your children what their expectations are so as to ease tensions and perhaps avoid conflict.

Check your emotions at the door. As stressful as divorce negotiations and your relatives may be, remember to check these emotions at the door when switching between the two. Crossover emotions oftentimes just make situations worse, prolonging litigation and crushing your holiday spirits.

Consider all the holidays. When drafting a visitation schedule, consider all holidays and how the schedule will affect them down the road. With a flexible schedule, you can accommodate sudden unexpected events that may cause you to stray from the rigidity of the agreement down the road.

Remember your finances. If you’re still working on property division then this is a key piece to remember. It’s good to know how much you and your ex-spouse are planning on spending this holiday season. Unexpected expenses could complicate the division of assets and liabilities, which may lead to disagreements as well as lengthier litigation.

Don’t take on more than you can handle. Although you and your ex-spouse may want to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible so that you can start the New Year with a fresh start, consider how much stress this could lead to. Is this something you really want to risk or is it possible for you both to set it aside until the holidays pass?

Source: The Huffington Post, “3 Strategies for Negotiating Divorce, Children and the Holidays With Compassion,” Shakti Sutriasa, Dec. 9, 2014