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How to handle the holidays after divorce

Illinois parents who are getting divorced might be worried about how to handle the holidays. This can be a time of anger, fear and sadness for both the exes and children. However, parents have an obligation to put aside those feelings and focus on trying to make the holidays pleasant for everyone in the family.

Therapists or loved ones may be able to provide an emotional outlet for parents. Exes should avoid the temptation to try to get back at one another by interfering with the children's ability to visit both households during the holidays.

Parents should have a plan for the holidays that's shared with the children. It's important for a child's well-being to know what to expect during the holidays. When a child returns from the other parent's home, it's important to let the child talk about the experience without offering any judgmental remarks. The parent should avoid the temptation to quiz the child about the holiday. Furthermore, parents will also need to be patient during this adjustment period. Although the holidays could be difficult for everyone, the family will eventually have new traditions in place.

Some child custody plans include arrangements for how children and parents will spend holidays and vacations. If they do not, these plans should be made well in advance. During negotiations about custody and visitation, parents can also address other issues that might concern them. For example, they might want to make rules about issues such as homework, bedtimes and chores that are consistent between households. Legal experts usually encourage parents to work out any conflicts that arise without going back to court. If a child custody case does go to litigation, one thing a judge may consider is how cooperative the parents are.

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