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Dealing with child custody during the holidays

Divorcing couples have a lot of decisions to make and these decisions are often tougher if there are children involved. From deciding who makes the day-to-day decisions to determining whom the child will spend weekends and holidays with, child custody arrangements can be difficult to create and come to terms with. With the holiday season coming up, one or the other parent will have custody of the children, possibly leaving the other one feeling lonely and resentful, especially if this is the first holiday season post divorce.

The most important things Dallas parents should remember during this time is that they have stopped functioning together as a married unit, but they still function together as parents. Therefore, it is important to ensure the holiday season goes smoothly for the children, especially if this is their first one without the other parent. Remember, parents should strive to create memories for their children during this difficult time. Whatever tensions the parents have over schedules and conflicts, children should not feel them or become aware of the difficulties their parents are going through.

According to one source, communicating holiday plans with the other parent can ensure there are no surprises at the last minute. The parent who does not have the children for the holidays should respect the other's holiday plans and try not to interfere in them. Parents should avoid badmouthing one another in front of the children at all times, specifically during the holiday period and relating to the holiday schedule, as it may cause children to feel guilt over enjoying the vacation with one parent without the other.

Parents should aim to create emotionally secure children in the aftermath of a divorce and these are just some of the ways they can achieve that. Remembering to keep the children's best interests at the forefront is the best way parents can continue to work as a unit without working as a couple.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Post-divorce parenting & holidays," Nicole Sodoma, Sep. 19, 2014

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