If you are planning or have already initiated a separation for the New Year you are not alone. January is the busiest month of the year for divorce proceedings to be started.

Why the New Year?

  • Maybe it’s self-improvement and you wanting to start the new year off right;
  • Maybe it’s just because you want to wait until after the holidays to let your children and family members know of your intentions;
  • Maybe the stress of the holidays finally made you realize that you can’t spend another year in this environment;
  • Maybe financial conditions at the end of the year make it easier to afford to get the house ready for sale or find alternate living arrangements.

Whatever the motivation is for the timing, the reasons are generally the same as any other time of year. This is the most demanding time of year for Family mediators and Family lawyers alike.

If you are unsure perhaps a trial separation is something for you to try. If you are sure, start researching options for helping you through your transition. Mediation is much less costly than the traditional legal route and collaborative law is another alternative available to you.

If you’ve already decided that divorce is the right option for you, you have also decided that your children are better off being loved by both parents in 2 separate homes. Stop feeling guilty and focus on how to make this the most positive experience you can for you and your children. It won’t be easy, separation/divorce never is. There is a great deal of change that needs to be managed. Just remember that children need and deserve to be loved and cared for by both parents, regardless of the parent’s relationship.

Don’t rush things. Take the time to do it right. Decisions you make now will impact your life for a great many years to come. Some people can already picture what their new life will be like (usually incorrectly) and some can’t picture life past tomorrow but know that this is not the life they want going forward. You will need to think about what your life will be like as a single parent and as a single person.

Now that the cards are on the table you can begin to plan. If you initiated the separation, understand that your ex-partner may not be as far along in the emotional roller coaster as you. You have had time to think things through and you know what you want. This may not be what they want or they may just need time to process the change. Allowing your ex-partner the time to come to terms with the situation without bullying or time pressures can go a long way to helping you be able to effectively co-parent in the future.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right….divorce is no different. Take the time to review your options, communicate as best you can with your ex-partner and focus on your goals for the future, not blame for the past.

Julie Gill

Owner of SeparationCoach.com and Families First Mediation