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Divorced Parents: How to Split Holidays with Kids

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get ready for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The holiday season can be both a joyful and stressful time for many families. Children often get caught in the middle of bitter arguments between separated and divorced parents during the Holiday Season and are compelled to take sides.

Holidays can intensify parental conflict and sadly leave children feeling responsible during a time that should be filled with joy and wonderment. Parents need to attempt to resolve their differences before the holiday season arrives so their children can be left with memories of happiness every holiday. Unfortunately, some mothers refuse to communicate in these matters and that regrettably is when litigation becomes necessary.

Fathers' Rights Attorney, Jeffery M. Leving ( states, "There are several steps that a parent can take to make the holidays stress-free for their children and run smoother for everyone. The first is to sit down with the other parent and come to an agreement on key issues such as specific times to spend with the children." Leving goes on to say, "Clarifying issues like these in advance will eliminate disagreement and tension during this special time of the year."

Often during split-custody holidays, the non-custodial father makes the mistake of giving his children an astronomical amount of gifts in order to compensate for the lack of quality time being spent together. Many divorced dads feel inadequate during the holidays and spend money for gifts they cannot afford. Comments Leving, "You do not want to set unrealistic expectations for your children down the road. Instead, talk with your former spouse about child sharing before each holiday so there is consistency rather than competition."

Starting new holiday traditions is another step that can be taken to focus attention on the positive aspects of the holiday. Talk to your children about how they would like to spend the holiday, and together you can create new memories that are filled with harmony and happiness.

The most important thing to remember is to always keep children and their needs the primary focus, especially during the Holiday Season.  Unfortunately, some mothers refuse to communicate with fathers. These fathers must to get into court immediately so they don't lose important holiday parenting time, if compromise and negotiation fail. 


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