January might be a bumpy month, and that's okay
I know for many, January can be a tough month. Not only does January have the ‘bluest day’ on record (the third Monday in the month), it has unofficially been dubbed ‘Divorce Month’.
You may be reading this, with red eyes, and a sore heart. Perhaps, you ended your marriage after the Christmas hype came crashing down. You may be questioning whether you have it in you, to play out another year in an unhappy marriage. If you are reading this, perhaps this is the only sign you needed: to stop, consider, leave and recover.
Gosh, none of this is easy. I’ve been there and I get it. I was a family lawyer for years, and saw the anguish of my clients, as they attempted to break down legal jargon, record the assets and incomes, and desperately wonder how they would tell their children that their family is splitting in two. But, I also get it, because as a mother of three, my marriage also ended.
I was wrapped up in heartache, regret, guilt and overwhelm.
I knew it had to get harder, before it got better. But as a mother, a soon-to-be ex-wife, and a woman who feels big feelings, I was wrought with emotion. But, and here is the BIG but, I survived.
That is why I created the Divorce and Separation Hub.
Because I want to help people in ways a lawyer cannot. Sure, I provide the expertise, but I want to support the breakdowns, and then hopefully, the breakthroughs, at the end of it all.
So why is January the busiest month for lawyers?
Many legal experts believe that the reason for this trend boils down to one thing: the stress of seasonal holidays. It’s simple, people don’t want to get divorced during the holidays. If couples, especially those with children, have started to consider divorce before the holidays, they make a point of staying married through the end of the year so their family can have one last holiday season together before they split.
Add any financial burden, then legal fees can be better saved for the new year. Some couples feel that the new year symbolises the shedding of a previous life. How, with a new year, a change feels more doable.
It may all seem like smoke and mirrors, but sometimes, we have to process the facts as they are. I really want you to consider, truly, how you feel.
The roadmap to a separation and divorce, is fraught with emotions. Add a pandemic in there, and you are undoubtedly feeling rattled. Literally, pin-point your support system. They are not necessarily your legal experts, but they are people who know you.
But I need you to get really up-close and personal with your decision to end the marriage, and here’s how.
Ask yourself, is this simply, extra holiday stress? Are you responding to the financial and family pressures of the festive season, or is stress an extension of an inconsolable relationship?
Are you on a false holiday? Is the love, and romanticism that associates with Christmas an eye-opener to stay, or leave. We all feel the mounting pressure to be a perfect-picture.
But is this picture a painful eye-opener to a relationship ending?
Is the mounting holiday expenses the build or barrier to an ending relationship?
We all overspend during the holidays. And the stress is very real.
Are you staying in this relationship to make ends meet, or can you go it alone? I cannot stress this enough, money (in this case) matters. Do your sums, add up your assets, and prepare to penny pinch beyond this season.
Are your children leading the way? Thoughtful spouses may be inclined to delay divorce proceedings until after the holidays for the sake of their children. The festive season is one of generosity and cheer, and children are eager to experience the magic. There is a massive fear that announcing divorce during this time can rob them of their joy.
Setting differences aside, even for just an additional month, or day, allows the children and both parents to spend one last holiday together as a family. Could this be your last Christmas as a couple with a family, or a family that bravely smiles through it?
I want you to know, that despite the uphill struggles, that if you present a united front, your children, and you, will heal.
No-one falls in love, wanting to fall out of it. Life is messy, complex, and hopefully, full of magic. But it is a life that deserves happiness.
You deserve happiness.