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Home for the holidays: Three things you can do to help your child cope with your divorce

Almost all children look very forward this special time of the year. They have a long break from school and get to spend time with their family and friends. For many kids, this is something that they will always look back upon fondly as they get older.

However, for recently divorced couples, this is often the time of the year when child custody disputes can quickly get out of control. With a little planning, you can take steps that can possibly prevent some of the challenging issues that could severely diminish the enjoyment that you and your child could experience this holiday season. 

Devise a parenting time plan that works for all sides at this time

You and your ex-spouse may both want to spend time with the kids during the holidays. In many cases, the custody agreement that you create at the time of your divorce will cover this in great detail. In the event that minor changes are needed, try to do what is best for the kids. Do not fight over every single issue, because this will only add to the stress level of everyone involved, including your children.

Communication is essential to make custody agreements work. The better you and your ex can talk about problems, the more likely it is that you will be able to find solutions that make everything much easier. This is extremely important, because even though you and your spouse may no longer be together, you still are both an essential part of your child's life.

Understand that your child wants to spend time with both parents

You may be doing everything possible to provide your child with the best holiday season ever. You might buy a lot of presents and plan a lot of fun events. Understand, though, that the child will want to still be able to see your ex. You have to be able to let go of the emotions that go along with this. This is not a competition, it is an opportunity to learn how to co-parent together better.

Make sure your kid knows it is ok for them to have fun with the other parent

This is especially important if your divorce is recent, and if your child is older. The child may understand that situations have changed, but not really know why. Even if the divorce still hurts, you need to be able to keep the best interests of the child in mind. If you make the child feel bad for spending time with your ex, it can severely damage the relationship that you may have in the future.

This is the most difficult time of the year for divorced parents. In some situations, the disputes that you have may require you to revisit the custody agreement that you have in place. Should you have concerns about your parenting time arrangement, speak to an experienced family law attorney to learn more about your options. 

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