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Coping with divorce during the holidays

The holidays have arrived, and many Texas families are struggling with how to plan celebrations after going through a separation or divorce. This situation may feel overwhelming, but it can be successfully managed if everyone communicates and focuses on what's best for the children.

There is no doubt that planning the first few holidays following a divorce can bring up feelings of pain, betrayal, anger and loss. These feelings are natural and valid, but parents should do all they can not to let them cloud their decisions. For example, while it may be tempting, parents should never use access to the kids over the holidays as a way to exact revenge on an ex. This just harms the kids and gets in the way of everyone moving on with their lives. Instead, parents should communicate with each other and develop clear celebration plans that they both can follow.

Once the plans are set, the children should be told so they can know what to expect. Both parents should encourage their kids to have fun with the other spouse and keep any negative comments to themselves. When the kids return from a holiday visit, parents should avoid peppering them with questions and let them share whatever they want about their holiday experience. Their stories should be listened to with love and enthusiasm, not judgment. Finally, parents should be patient and remember that this process will get easier with time. Over the years, new holiday traditions and routines will be established, making the season joyful again.

Parents facing divorce could contact a family law attorney for advice. The attorney could offer invaluable advice throughout the divorce process and work to negotiate favorable agreements on child custody, child support, spousal support and other important divorce legal matters.

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