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How to survive the holidays during divorce

Divorce proceedings can sometimes last months, stretching from the time you start through some very important events, like the holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other holiday, here are some tips to get you through your first season following a divorce.

Do it for the kids

If you can remember one thing, let it be this: This time of year is about the children, not you. You may not want to be around your ex, but if your kids are dying to keep up the yearly tradition of choos ing a tree or baking cookies together, make it happen (assuming you can do so without fighting). Ask your offspring what matters most and focus on those things. Do not worry about doing everything together; just choose the most special memories and commit to being civil during that time. The rest of the month, you can make your own new traditions with the kids.

Do it for you

There are many ways to split time with your children when it comes to the holidays, and the key is finding the right fit for you and your family. Some people prefer to do one major holiday at each house or split them down the middle of the day, but there can be other, less stressful ways of handling it. If you can manage celebrating early or late, experts advise parents to switch off every other year. One year you will get to spend the holidays with your kids and the next you can do something for you, like take a trip with a parent or spend time visiting friends. Sometimes less back-and-forth traveling is easier on kids, so talk with your ex and decide which arrangement will suit your family best.

Do it for love

Going along with that, do everything in your power to avoid arguments. This season is magical for children and the fastest way to ruin that is by bickering and backbiting. If you know bringing a new significant other to Christmas dinner is going to cause hurt feelings, let your new love know that emotions are still running high and it might be best to go solo this year. Remember, it is about showing you care more about your children's happiness than your own.

The best way to make the holidays a joyous, memorable experience for all is to focus on your children this time of year. Consider hiring an attorney or mediator to discuss arrangements with you and your ex and create a plan that works in everyone's best interest. Doing so will bring good memories this year and for many more to come.

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Stephen T. Holman, P.A.
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