Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Divorce can be challenging during holidays for parents

The holiday period in Texas can be stressful for all types of families. Thanksgiving and Christmas can be particularly harrowing for parents who are in the midst of divorce proceedings. Some tips might help reduce anxieties during this year's holidays and beyond.

First, common sense dictates that it is always best to put the needs of the children first. When the parents agree to keep their children's happiness and well-being at the top of the list of priorities, they are essentially working together to achieve a common goal. As a result, they may have happier children and also experience less stress themselves during the holidays.

It is also vital for the two parents to communicate, when possible. Both parents ideally should know what their custody agreement or order says so that there is no confusion about whom the children will spend time with during the holiday season. This is critical to establish before committing to any travel and event plans around the end of the year. It is best not to assume that the other parent already knows the holiday parenting schedule set forth in the custody agreement or court order.

Parents who are going through divorce in Texas may be able to work toward a comprehensive parenting agreement that both find satisfactory, without further court intrusion. If they cannot come to an agreement on child custody and other important issues with legal guidance through mediation or direct negotiations, a judge will have to make decisions on these matters for the family. That outcome, however, could be different from what either party wanted.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, "3 Stress-relieving holiday tips for separated or divorced parents", Amanda Cannavo, Dec. 12, 2016

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