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Divorce takes a toll on children over the holidays

It is said that the average divorce takes six months from start to finish. Since not everyone waits until the spring to file, many divorces take place over the holidays. While you and your ex may find scheduling for the holiday season difficult, your children may struggle with it too. Depending on how you choose to handle the holidays, your children may learn to no longer look forward to this time of year. Instead, they may see the holidays as just one more reason for mom and dad to fight.

During the holidays, the focus is usually on spending time with family. For divorced or separated parents, divvying up the holidays to get that time in can spark arguments. A time of year that should represent goodwill and cheer may suddenly turn into a battle that frustrates and hurts the children involved.

Many times, court ordered custody arrangements include a plan for the holidays. While these arrangements may be good in theory, they don't always take into consideration busy holiday schedules. For parents, this may only represent a scheduling conflict, but for children this may mean missing valuable time with their parent. Divorced parents that are willing to collaboratively work with each other may find that their children are less stressed and enjoy the holidays more. Likewise, parents that refuse to cooperate with each other may find that their children are frustrated, stressed and unable to enjoy the holidays.

It is completely understandable for parents to want quality time with their children over the holidays. However, forcing the schedule on an already stressed child may take all the enjoyment out of the season. If you are facing divorce, looking ahead at how issues like this may impact your child's happiness may lead you to choose a collaborative approach to your divorce. Through this method, you and your ex can learn effective ways of working together on all family and custody issues.

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