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Surviving the Holidays after Divorce: When You Have Kids

By Nottage and Ward on December 19, 2011

In our previous blog post, we presented a few holiday survival tips for divorcees that face spending the holidays alone; however, there are many divorced couples who have a child or children that they would like to spend the holidays with.

As experienced child custody attorneys in Illinois, we believe the goal of both parents should be what is in the best interests of their child or children when it comes to the holidays. The winter holidays are a very exciting time for children and any new tradition or arrangement should be made with that in mind. There are various ways in which a divorced couple may arrange spending the holidays with their children while still giving them the holiday excitement they look forward to all year. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to achieve happy holidays for your children and yourselves:

  1. Create new traditions – It is okay to change traditions. Give each parent a day when they will celebrate with their children. For Christmas, children may celebrate on Christmas Eve with Mom and then celebrate Christmas Day with Dad. If you and your spouse still maintain a friendship, it may be worth trying to celebrate together in some way.
  2. Fill the void – If you and your ex decide to alternate holidays versus designating separate days for every holiday, it is easy to feel depressed or lonely on the holidays that you do not see your child or children. In those situations, make sure you can celebrate with close friends and/or family.

Divorce is very difficult for a child and the winter holidays are an opportunity for both parents to show their children that they still love them and care about their family. To ensure that the holidays do not cause unnecessary disputes, however, it is important to be flexible.

Please return to our blog for the final installment of our holiday survival blog series where we will discuss how a parent can ensure the best holiday for their children and themselves.

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