This is a common question that comes up during the divorce process, particularly as we approach the holiday season. Should you spend holidays together during a divorce? The answer is, like most things, “It depends.”
The holidays can be a very stressful time, divorces aside. Family dynamics can be complicated without the tension between spouses. However, if you have children, it may be an excellent opportunity to show a united front. Here are a few questions to determine whether it is a good idea to spend the holidays together during a divorce.
Can you get along for extended periods?
You don’t have to be best friends, but can you be respectful of each other? If the answer is a hard “no,” then it may be better to spend time apart. The last thing you want is to argue in front of your children during a time that is supposed to be joyous and happy.
Have you told your extended family about the divorce? How will they react?
This is a two-part question, but a significant one. If you are spending time with your extended family, you will want to ensure they are on the same page. Do they know about the divorce? If they do, will they say something triggering around your children? You need to ensure that your children aren’t around if any negative things are being said about your spouse. Remember: they are still their mom or dad. They should not have to deal with adult problems.
Are you dating?
If you are seeing someone else, it may be better to spend the holidays apart. This is particularly true if your new relationship is wanting to spend time with you as well. Adding a third-party to your divorce will only intensify conflict.
What do you want?
What do you want during the holidays? Is it vital for you and your spouse to have a smooth transition into holidays by being together for the kids? Would you rather have separate celebrations? It is ok to vocalize what you would prefer.
Are you having trouble navigating your holiday schedule? Wondering if you can spend the holidays together during a divorce? Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center today to schedule a free consultation.