Should We Celebrate Holidays Together When Getting Divorced In Virginia?

As the holidays approach, families in the process of separating with minor or adult children, especially those living separately in the same house, may be struggling on how to celebrate the holidays. There are a few ways to take on this obligation; read on to learn what Michelle Hopkins recommends to her clients.

If you are in the process of separating with your intention being for the separation to end in divorce, it is important to maintain separate lives as much as possible. Examples of ways to do this include, but are not limited to:

  • Not wearing wedding rings.
  • Sleeping in separate bedrooms.
  • Not eating meals together.
  • Operating on independent schedules; not coordinating your individual activities jointly.
  • Not participating in household chores together such as doing each other’s laundry, grocery shopping, decorating for holidays, etc.
  • Avoiding doing things together that could be construed as an attempt to reconcile from a third parties’ perspective.

Michelle Hopkins does not necessarily recommend that her clients celebrate holidays together, even they share minor children and are on good terms.

In the event that a spouse decides to contest the divorce, any activity that third parties would construe as reconciliation would be ammunition to delay the proceedings by arguing that the initially proposed date of separation was incorrect. For example, if the parties to a divorce decided that their date of separation was October 1, but they proceeded to eat a Thanksgiving meal together as a family, if either party felt that was an attempt to reconcile and changed their mind about proceeding with a divorce, they could argue that the date of separation should no longer be October 1 and propose a later date to delay the finalization of the divorce.

While it is tempting to celebrate holidays together for the sake of children born to the parties, there are other ways to consider the children’s needs while still living as separately as possible:

  • Treat each other with respect and kindness.
  • Cooperate with scheduling fun holiday activities for both parents to do with the children separately.
  • Make time for the children to visit with both sides of their families on the day of the holiday, or decide how to alternate which parent the children will travel with to visit family each year.

Schedule A Consultation Today

Handling the holidays during your separation may be tricky. Michelle Hopkins and her legal team are ready to assist you with these details and more when navigating your divorce. Contact her office at or 571-248-2210 to schedule a consultation today.

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