Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
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Tis the season for coming up with a holiday custody plan

With Halloween quickly approaching, the official holiday season will soon be upon us. The holidays are traditionally a time for Dallas area residents to gather with family and friends to partake in traditions and make memories. While the holidays are touted as a joyous time to spend with family, for parents and children impacted by divorce, the holidays can also be an especially stressful time. 

Divorced parents often dread the holidays as such occassions tend to evoke memories and may give rise to conflict with an ex-spouse over who has physical custody of shared children. The good, and perhaps bad thing about the holiday season is that it comes around each year. It makes sense, therefore, that divorced parents take the time to sit down and peacably work out an agreeable holiday child custody agreement. 

Many divorced parents decide to simply swap major holidays every other year. If possible, this type of custody arangement is often the best for all concerned. Minimizing the stress associated with traveling to multiple households and celebrations is typically best for both children and parents who may otherwise inevidably get the short end of the stick and a child who is too wore out to engage or behave. 

When deciding on how to spit up the holidays much also depends on where divorced parents live. Parents should also do their best to accomodate an ex-spouse in cases where extended family members traveled a distance to see shared children. One option may be to split a child's time between households over a winter break which allows each parent time to spend time with a child to celebrate old traditions as well as create new traditions. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Holiday Season Approaching -- What Divorcing Parents Need to Prepare for," Karen Stewart, Oct. 8, 2013

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