And All Through the House, Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Spouse!

Tis the season! The season for discontent and disagreement. The season for finger-pointing and resentment. The season for wanting to kick the other spouse out and to get a divorce.

What is it with this time of year? December and January traditionally mark not only the close of one year and the opening of the next; it also marks the breaking point of many parents and spouses, who, throughout the previous few months, started pressing on the other’s nerves and felt the same in return. The pot started warming up in the summer, and it really got heated up when school started. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, it was a full boil.

Some clients wait until after the Christmas Holidays to file for divorce, and some clients have no fuse left to burn down by mid-December. Whenever it boils over, everybody gets hot, burned, and scalded. That’s when it can get really ugly!

If you identify with this scenario, then I would advise you to do these three things as soon as possible:

1. BREATH! Make at least an hour of uninterrupted time for you to sit calmly, write out or diagram what’s going on, and write down an action plan.

2. PRESERVE! Try to keep the status quo as much as possible. This isn’t the time to go crazy spending money, breaking things around the house, or selling household items to friends without prior consultation with your spouse.

3. SEEK GOOD ADVICE! I don’t mean the boys down at the bar or the girls at the scrapbooking party. I mean a reputable divorce attorney, your trusted pastor, or a respected and qualified counselor. (Well, OK, I mostly mean a reputable divorce attorney, but I do think your pastor or counselor may offer some good suggestions, as well.)

My hope is that you avoid getting too hot, burned, or scalded. There are paths to take that can lead you to the relief you seek. The main problem is that you don’t know what relief you really seek. That’s why I suggest setting time aside for you to actually think through your situation. You don’t have to figure everything out, but at least you can figure out a positive step to take. Continuing in a frenzy just makes things worse. Judges don’t like to have to deal with parties that operate out of control or put the other spouse in peril. If they have to deal with them, it’s not kindly.

Think smart. Consult with a good family law attorney. Stay ahead of the doom. Maintain your dignity.

And have a Merry Christmas

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