Many divorcing couples make the mistake of waiting until the holiday season has passed to file for a divorce. The professionals at Schmidt & understand the pitfalls inherent in this decision, and the best way to proceed with a divorce before the holidays.
Increase in Domestic Violence During the Winter
The holidays can be a time of significant stress for families, especially those in domestic abuse situations. Research shows thatthere is a dramatic increase in the rate of domestic abuse incidents during the winter months. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, its National Sexual Assault Online Hotline saw a 20 percent increase in calls from fall to winter. In many cases, the cold weather means that families spend more time together indoors, which can lead to more abusive conflicts as well. This phenomenon is known as “cabin fever,” and it has a significant effect on domestic abuse rates around the country.
Holiday expenses, from Christmas shopping for the kids, to paying for decorations and food, can also result in increased stress and tension that may trigger a violent episode in an already abusive spouse. Conflicts may also occur during the winter months in response to tax issues or layoffs that frequently happen during the start of the new fiscal year. Many abused spouses return to a toxic relationship after the holiday money issues have been resolved only to find that the conflict in their relationship continues. Money trouble may exacerbate the stressful situations surrounding abuse, but it is never the root cause. Waiting to file for divorce until after the holidays simply means prolonging a dysfunctional relationship.
Benefits of Filing for Divorce Before the Holidays
Filing for divorce before the holidays may be a difficult decision, but it comes with many benefits to consider, including:
- Emotional Relief:
If your spouse is unaware of how serious your marital issues have become, keeping that secret throughout the holidays can impose a significant emotional burden on you.
- Preempting Obstacles:
The New Year often brings with it obstacles that could delay a divorce, such as your spouse losing their job. Filing before the holidays preempts these issues and gets the process moving.
- Not Having to Spend Holidays with an Abusive Spouse:
Spending time with a toxic spouse is even harder during the holidays than usual and it can lead to an increase in abusive behavior.
- Reduced Social Pressure:
The holiday season is full of gatherings with family and friends. Filing for divorce before they begin saves you from the pain of having to keep up appearances at these functions.
- Waiting Periods:
In most areas of the country, there is a minimum waiting period before your divorce is considered final. If your area imposes a one-year waiting period, you may have to wait for longer if you put off filing until the New Year.
Divorce Services from Schmidt Law Firm
With more than 18 years of experience in the field of family law, the team at Schmidt & is dedicated to providing you with everything you need to make informed legal decisions. Whether you require assistance with a divorce or an adoption, we offer comprehensive family law services with a focus on client care. Call today at 801-895-3113 or contact us here for a free case evaluation, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the divorce process.