Child custody and the holidays

On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in child custody on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

For many families, Thanksgiving and Christmas are joyous times when everyone gets together to celebrate family and friends. For divorced couples in Michigan, however, the holidays can be a time of stress and conflict. Dividing up custody time can be hard to decide, but planning ahead can make things go much more smoothly for the children.

If this is the first holiday season after the divorce, it can be challenging to split time fairly between the two parents, and there can be a lot of grief for all parties involved. According to Huffington Post, there are usually two different ways to handle co-parenting during the holidays. One is to split time between each parent for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This can be a viable option for those who live in the same city and are able to have healthy discussions around what works best for everyone involved. A more common method is to alternate years. This tends to be favored by the legal system, as it is the easiest to figure out.

No matter what arrangement is decided, it is best if everyone is prepared for the changes. Psychology Today discusses that holidays for divorced couples often means developing new traditions and customs. Being able to communicate with the children to decide what is important to them will help everyone get on board with the new celebrations.

Dealing with all the changes, and the fact that one parent may be spending their first holiday alone, can lead to feelings of sadness and loss. Approaching the situation with civility and spending time with other family members and close friends can help them get through the process.

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