Going through a divorce is hard nearly any time of the year, but can be especially so during the holidays. If you have children, the thought of splitting your time with your ex can be difficult. However, there are things you can do to make the holidays festive, and enjoy some of the cheer that comes this time of year. And, with a little hard work you will soon realize that the season is over almost as soon as it starts, and you are none worse for the wear.
Some tips for handling divorce during the holidays, in cases where kids are involved, include:
- Avoid situations where conflict is likely to arise. If you and your ex are famous for not getting along when dropping of or picking up the kids, make arrangements to do so via email or text. If you decrease the time you have to spend around your ex, you also decrease the chances of having an argument in front of your kids. This will add not only to your peace of mind, but will also give your children the holiday they deserve.
- Avoid the urge to “out give” your ex. The temptation to give a bigger and better gift to your kids than does your ex is great, but ultimately this only ends up putting the kids in the middle and causing conflict.
- Let your kids have a say so in where they spend the holidays, and what activities they participate in with each parent. Keep in mind that as much as your family wants to spend time with your children, so do your former in laws. Keeping your kids from extended family at any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season, only sets an example that you wish to control their environment. For older kids this will seem like you are trying to keep them from doing something fun, and they may act out in response.
- Start a new tradition, whether it is something you do once your kids have left the house, or something you do together. Part of divorce is letting go of the past, while looking to the future. When you are able to come up with new ideas for holiday traditions, your kids will be able to focus on those things rather than on the fact they are splitting their holiday between homes.
Each case is different, and what works for you may not work for someone else. The key is to find something that fits your schedule, and works for your family. If you need help, reach out to a trained counselor or therapist, or even to your family law attorney. There are instances where legal remedies are appropriate to get you the time you deserve with your kids, without the struggle.
For answers to your questions about divorce, consult a qualified legal professional. Call the Deaton Law Firm in Cypress at (916) 608-8891 to schedule your appointment today.