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Surviving The Holidays After Divorce

Updated: Mar 5, 2019



The holiday season, usually a joyous time for many families, can also be stressful-especially for parents and children affected by divorce and custody issues. The excitement of the last few months of the year is often replaced by conflict, doubt and anxiety concerning parenting time and finances. However, with the help of the right attorney and a few expert tips, these concerns can be alleviated and a peaceful holiday season can lie ahead.

1. Know Your Shared Parenting Plan

Being prepared prior to the start of the holiday season is key. Read your parenting plan carefully to ensure a smooth transition through parenting times and avoid conflict with your ex-spouse. Call your attorney with questions regarding your court documents and Ohio holiday parenting schedules, as they can differ from year-to-year during the holidays. Should conflict arise regarding the interpretation of custody schedules, do not hesitate to call your attorney. However, choosing the right legal team during the divorce process to draft clear documents should significantly decrease and conflict down the road.

2. Plan in Advance

Once you have thoroughly read your court documents regarding holiday parenting time, plan any trips and family events well in advance to avoid confusion and stress. Keeping an open line of respectful communication with your ex-spouse, if possible, is important in keeping the holidays a fun and enjoyable time for the children. Provide your ex-spouse with details about any family vacations, such as flight details and an itinerary. Making sure that kids have all items they need from each parent’s house early on will avoid confusion and tension during the trip.

3.Focus on the Kids, Not the Gifts

Oftentimes, the true meaning of the holidays can be forgotten, especially if tension exists between ex-spouses. Remember to keep your focus on the kids, keeping their routine as normal and fun as possible. Resist the temptation to out-do the other parent with extravagant gifts, and instead create new memories and traditions for your new family dynamic. The kids will cherish the memories and fun moments more than gifts for years to come.

4. Treat Yourself

The holidays can be tough-especially the first few years after a divorce. It may be difficult to cope with sharing your time with children or spending the holidays alone. Surrounding yourself with loved ones is extremely important. Make plans, attend holiday get-togethers, and treat yourself to a gift. If possible, take a trip and begin to establish new traditions-ones you will look forward to for many years to come.

5.Patience is Key

Finally, and most importantly, remember to be patient with yourself, your ex-spouse, and your children. The holidays will entail a lot of packing, unpacking, driving and schedule coordination. Patience will set the tone for an easier transition from home to home and ensure your entire family looks forward to this time of year.


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