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Divorcing? Children? Holidays? Oh, No!


When you are a divorce attorney, inevitably holiday time for clients and their families is turbulent and for some, very unhappy. Where do the children spend Thanksgiving? Who gets Hanukkah? What about Christmas? New Years? Even though your divorce is causing you pain and you are having a difficult time, you must remember to put your children first. Although you may not feel like celebrating, the holiday season says otherwise.

Having said that, you deserve to enjoy the holidays as well. For a happier and psychologically healthier holiday I suggest the following:

  1. Consider including your spouse, and also alternate the major holidays.

Notice I said “consider.” I know it’s hard. But sometimes it can work to help the children adjust.

Suggest the children spend a portion of the holiday with both of you. Maybe an hour or two all together and then the children can spend the balance of the holiday with the other parent. Encourage your child to have a good time with the other parent. (even if deep down, you don’t feel that way!)

  1. Communicate and plan in advance.

If you provide some suggestions, structure and details for how to spend the holidays, it will be less stressful. Hear what your spouse has to say, give your thoughts, and come to a conclusion that suits all, especially the children.

  1. Include other family members.

Don’t forget to include Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe.

Planning for extended family to proactively participate helps the children to adjust and to feel more secure. The more, the merrier J

  1. Please don’t compete.

Try to agree on what gifts each parent is giving the child. Time spent with your child is far more valuable than any gift you could give them. If gifts are involved, communicate and decide together what gift will make your child happy. A gift from both of you will send a comforting and powerful message.

  1. Have a good time and create new traditions.

Try to see divorce as a positive change in your family dynamic and as an opportunity to introduce your children to new family traditions. Each parent should introduce some new holiday tradition into the mix. It will ease the stress and divert attention to something positive and constructive about the new family structure.

If you are thinking about divorce and need an excellent family law attorney with over 35 years’ experience to help you navigate all the avenues, call me. I am here to help. Call (646) 663-4546 to schedule your consultation.