Child Custody Issues Don’t Have to Mean Disastrous Holidays

Christmas carols playing in retail shops, green and red decorations everywhere, cooler weather and the anticipation of a jolly man bearing presents are all signs that the winter holiday season is upon us. For most people, the winter holidays give them a chance to enjoy family gatherings. For others, such as divorced parents, this might be a time of stress and sadness. Our California readers might like to know some tips for dealing with a split family during the holiday.

The most important thing to remember is that children have to come first. As challenging as the holiday season is for adults, it shouldn’t be a stressful time for children. There are a few ways that you can do this.

If you and your ex get along, you might want to spend the holidays together with your children. In that case, both you and your ex should be willing to put aside any tension you have in favor of creating positive memories with your child.

Another option is that you and your ex alternate holidays. While this does mean that you will have to celebrate a holiday without your child, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. You will still have a chance to make memories with your child, even if those memories come a day or two before or after the holiday.

A third option is to split the holiday. This means your child spends part of the day with you and part with your ex. This option might actually lead to more stress since it can easily lead to an over-scheduled day.

When all else fails, you can turn to the courts to help determine who gets the children when. Learning your rights and how to effectively assert those rights can help you decide how to proceed.

Source:, “Handling Holidays After Divorce” Nov. 30, 2014

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