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Holidays, divorce and children

After a divorce, holidays can present challenges for both parents and children in New Jersey. However, the adults should put the children first as moving back and forth between households can be quite hard for them. Divorce is a difficult time for everyone, but over time, the pain of a marriage ending will dissipate. Parents can help lessen that pain for children with these tips.

Parents should resist the temptation to try to appease their children with expensive gifts. They should focus on spending time together as well as on helping the children create new traditions.

Parents who are unable to be with their children over the holidays may want to spend the time with friends and family. It is important to be flexible with the ex-spouse regarding custody and visitation during this time if necessary. Parents should also avoid saying negative things about the ex-spouse in the presence of the children.

How holidays are handled after the divorce might be included in the custody and visitation agreement, or parents might choose to make a more informal agreement. They might include their plans for holidays in the parenting agreement that can address issues ranging from when bedtime happens to who drives the children to extracurricular activities and more.

If parents are having trouble reaching an agreement on custody and visitation or on aspects of the parenting agreement, they might want to consider divorce mediation. Mediation is focused on finding a solution that everyone is happy with instead of the more adversarial approach of litigation. It might teach parents effective conflict resolution skills they can use in co-parenting during the holidays and at other times of the year as well.

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