Believe it or not, while writing this there are just 43 days to go until Christmas. Whether you’ve already started the Christmas preparations or not, we are sure that the thought of Christmas is already firmly in your mind.
Something our clients often ask us, particularly around this time of year is; how do you deal with a recent divorce at Christmas? Although this can be thought of as a sad time for you and your family, it can also bring new experiences, and traditions for you all to embrace. In this weeks blog we are suggesting ways you to help prepare you both mentally and emotionally if your facing your first Christmas newly separated from your partner.
Write your ‘Christmas Plan’ now
Write a plan, set yourself some goals on what you want to achieve from your Christmas this year, do you want to see a long lost relative? Or maybe help a friend or charity in need? Doing something positive, as part of your Christmas Plan will also help eliminate any bad thoughts and allow you to create a scheduled plan to look forward to.
Remember to take some time out for yourself and write down your Christmas plan, some questions to consider are:
Where will you spend your time? Plan your days in full from start to finish, and include where you will sleep each night.
Who will you spend your time with? It’s important to think carefully about who you spend your Christmas with, surround yourself with family and friends who are likely to embrace your new tradition as much as you. Remember to treat this as your new beginning and allow yourself as much freedom as possible to make decisions that will impact on your happiness.
If you have children, who will they spend their time with and when? The earlier you plan this, the easier it will be to prepare yourself and let your children know in advance who they will be spending their time with and why. Remember they too can be involved in the decision-making, unless this has already been legally agreed.
Introduce new traditions
In order to keep your mind occupied, add a new tradition to your holiday. At a time in your life where there are many changes, try not to make these changes too drastic. Again, this will help to take your mind off any negative thoughts and emotions. This may involve adding a new treat to Christmas Eve, or making a change to the decorations in your home, go all out, buy a bigger tree with extra sparkles!
Cooperation is key
If you have children, cooperating effectively with your former partner will not only benefit your children but also help you to enjoy Christmas. Whether your relationship is amicable or not, its more important than ever to separate your feelings from behaviour during a time that children cherish.
Our blog on co-parenting tips for divorced parents provides useful information on how to deal with your emotions, and how to keep any issues between you and your former partner between you without involving your children.
Focus on time, not money
Focus on how you spend your time rather than how you will spend your money and avoid overspending. One of the last things you will want to be worrying about is your financial situation after Christmas. Value your time with family and loved ones instead.
Give yourself some credit
Although the advice we have given seems simple, the reality being, your first Christmas if you are newly separated from your partner could prove to be a testing time for you. If you are be able to accomplish all of the above, give yourself some well-earned credit.
As we mentioned, its important to plan your Christmas, with a great deal around you currently changing, you will benefit from having some structure during a busy time of year. At Crisp and Co we understand the difficulty families face when dealing with separation, particularly around Christmas. Whether this is through divorce, or dissolution of a civil partnership, our priority is always to get you and your family back on track.
If you feel you may need our help, as expert solicitors we are able to advise in all aspects of family law and will happily discuss your situation.