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Struggles of Shared Parental Custody Through the Holidays

Divorce can be a very complex process and even the most amicable separations can become strained. Child custody is often one of the most challenging parts of the divorce proceedings and parents often struggle to find an agreement that is fair for all involved. At Canterbury Law Group, we have seen that, unfortunately, holidays can reignite these challenges. It often takes divorced families great effort to maintain a sense of family fairness throughout the holiday season.

There are several things that you can do to help make child custody issues during the holidays less contentious. Some of these include the following:

  • 1. Be in open communication with your family. Understanding everyone’s expectations from the beginning is a good way to make sure that everyone’s requests are heard.
  • 2. Act in the best interest of your child. Remember that your former spouse is the other parent to your children. Just because the marriage ended doesn’t mean they are no longer part of the lives of your children. Be flexible. Reassure your kids that you will be OK while they are with the other parent. Keep the arrangements as simple as possible.
  • 3. Establish new traditions. It’s a good idea to create new holiday rituals with family and friends. Although some past traditions may be hard to eliminate, new ones will add some sense of excitement to the present. Reassure your children that the holidays will continue in a new yet joyous way. Rather than focusing on the sad elements, get your kids excited about the new traditions. Be sure to let your children have part in what your family will do to celebrate.
  • 4. Plan ahead. Schedule fun and stress free events with loved ones. If the holidays tend to be too painful and the divorce reminders are everywhere, consider a vacation that allows you to “escape” the painful triggers.
  • 5. Create a schedule. Make a list of everything you need to do for the holidays and a target date to accomplish your goals. This will help you to feel more in control and less stressed.

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