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Melissa A. Featherston

How to survive the holidays after divorce

There are several occasions that will be difficult after divorce, including birthdays and anniversaries, but often the holiday season is one of the hardest times for recently divorced people, especially if you have children. While there will always be parts that are hard, there are some things you can do to make it easier. Here are some tips to get through the holiday season after divorce.

1. Focus on new traditions

You may have fond memories of going to cut a tree with your ex's truck or visiting your in-laws in Sweden, but you will need to focus on new traditions this year. Talk to your children about which traditions are their favorites and work with your ex to make those happen. It is up to you if you will do these activities together or separately. If your ex does not want to be involved, find ways to alter the traditions, like taking a less expensive trip or visiting a tree lot and picking one out together.

2. Decide on a schedule

If your ex wants to share the holidays, there are many different options for schedules. Talk together and decide which will work best for your family.

  • Alternating years: CNN advises that some families find an every other year schedule to be the best. One dad spends his off-years traveling with his parents. If you choose this option, try to plan something exciting to keep your mind busy and plan an alternate day to celebrate with your children after you have them back.
  • Full-day splits: If you celebrate Christmas, you may choose to have the children spend the 24th of December with one parent and the 25th with the other. If you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other multi-day holiday, your children can spend half the days with one parent and the rest with the other.
  • Half-day splits: For families who want to spend every holiday together, a half-day split may be the answer. Children can spend the morning with one parents and the evening with the other.

It is important to consider your family dynamics and decide which plan will work best for you and your children .

3. Use a mediator

Discussing anything can be difficult with your ex. Many people find that using a mediator can make the process less stressful and allow both parties to make more rational decisions.

While getting through the holidays will never be easy, following these steps can make it less painful. Contact an experienced attorney for help making this holiday season joyous and full of cherished memories.

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