The holidays can be emotional and stressful. It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get everything on your holiday to-do list done, and even more so if you’re considering splitting from your partner. The January divorce trend is something we see yearly here at Richmond Tymchuk Family Law, and we want to guide you through this holiday season with some useful tips.
Holidays come with additional pressure
As we have seen, holidays can put a lot of pressure on couples. If you find yourself saying "I hate the holidays with my husband" or "Why are the holidays so hard," it might be a sign that your relationship is struggling under the expectations of the season.
This pressure can come from a variety of places: work commitments, extended family expectations, kids’ schedules, absence of available childcare, financial stresses and our own expectations of what relationships should look like. The holidays can mean that you’re spending more time together with your spouse than you normally do, and this might result in more arguments and conflict if you’re finding that you’re growing apart.
While this time and getting-things-done pressure is something that most people feel during the holidays, it can either be dividing or helpful. A wedge in your relationship to drive you apart, or common enjoyment to bring you closer together. Where possible, try to approach the challenges of the holidays together as a team.
Getting through the holidays
If your relationship has broken down to the point where "holiday fights" are becoming commonplace and healthy communication is not an option, then you might want to focus on “getting through” the holidays as best you can.
Whether you make this decision as a couple, or individually, it can help to remember that the holiday period won’t last forever. You can decide that next year things will be different and focus on making this holiday period as pleasant as possible. This might mean that you need to take time to yourself to rest and recharge, giving yourself time to evaluate which boundaries and expectations are important to you. Remember, ‘getting through the holidays’ is about keeping the peace, for others (such as your children) as much as yourself. It’s not about putting undue pressure and expectations on delivering the ‘perfect’ holiday season if that means you have to compromise your personal values.
Making resolutions for a happier 2024
As the holiday season comes to a close, many couples find themselves reflecting on the year and contemplating their relationship's trajectory. When you start to think about what January will bring, you might be thinking about happier and more peaceful resolutions. And one of your resolutions might be to file for divorce. Our experienced lawyers at RT Family Law will help you navigate the January resolve, when clients cannot face the idea of another year in an unhappy marriage.
Getting your ducks in a row
There’s plenty you can do to get your “ducks in a row” so to speak. Make sure you’ve got as much information as you can possibly get about the financial situation between you and your spouse. Perhaps you’re not ready to broach this challenging conversation yet, but you can still make sure you have access to everything you need. Speak to the lawyers at RT Family Law who will help organize everything you need to move forward.
How to separate
When you’ve made that decision to seek divorce, one of the first things to do is to officially separate. In Alberta, the law says that there are 3 grounds for divorce:
- Separation - you and your spouse have lived apart for 1 year;
- Adultery - when either spouse has sex with someone other than their spouse and this can be proven in court; and/or
- Cruelty - when either spouse has committed physical or mental cruelty which could be violence, verbal abuse, drunkenness or excessive drug use.
Richmond Tymchuk Family Law has a comprehensive post about how to separate from your spouse or partner in Alberta.
If you need a divorce or advice, please contact us.