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How to handle the holidays with children after a divorce

After a divorce, the holidays in Maryland can be a particularly tough time for both the parents and children involved. However, parents should keep the focus on the family instead of themselves. Having to go back and forth between households can be difficult for kids, and they may struggle to understand the situation despite knowing both parents love them.

Parents who are spending the holidays without their children might want to enjoy it with family or friends instead for support. On the other hand, parents who do have their children for the holidays should not be overly extravagant in an effort to compensate for the divorce. Instead, they should focus on time together and helping the kids create new traditions.

It might be tempting to be inflexible with the other parent regarding changes in custody and visitation during the holidays. However, this only causes additional harm to the children. Over time, the painful emotions around divorce and the holiday season will dissipate.

If holiday arrangements are not specified in the custody agreement, parents might want to address them in an official parenting agreement. This document can cover a wide range of child-raising details. For example, parents might want to specify bedtimes for children based on their ages or make rules about when children can meet a parent's new partner. Judges do not usually like to see parents returning to their courtroom over and over to work out minor issues. Unless parents need to make a change to legally binding agreements such as custody or child support amounts, they should try to work out any conflict between themselves. Parents may create the parenting agreement with the assistance of their attorneys.

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