California readers know that the holidays can be very stressful. However, navigating the holidays after a divorce can be especially daunting for families who have recently experienced the separation or divorce. The prospect of dealing with former spouses and divvying up holiday time with the kids can seem positively overwhelming.
Luckily, experts say it is possible for divorced families to manage the holidays with their sanity intact if they just communicate and focus on what’s best for the kids. That means that parents should not try to get back at their ex by denying him or her access to the kids over the holidays. Instead, parents should do their best to set aside their differences and develop a clear plan for where and when holiday celebrations will occur. This plan should then be communicated to the children so they know what to expect.
Once a plan is established, both parents should act enthusiastic about it and encourage their children to have fun with the other parent. When the kids return from their holiday visit, parents should resist the urge to pepper them with questions and let them share only the details that they wish. These details should be met with love and interest, not with judgment or other negative reactions. Parents should also turn to friends, family or a therapist to sort out their feelings about navigating the holidays after a divorce if they are having trouble dealing with the situation. Overall, they should be patient and know that their feelings of pain and loss will lessen as time goes by.
California parents facing divorce could contact a family law attorney for guidance. The attorney might give crucial legal advice at all stages of the divorce process. Legal counsel may also negotiate agreements on child custody, child support, spousal support, property division and other divorce legal issues.