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Divorce plus holidays often equals stress

Perhaps, you felt a sense of relief when the judge issued the final decree for divorce this past summer. You and your children had high hopes for coming to terms with the situation and moving on in life together. Maybe you were even anticipating building new memories as well as continuing some of your old, favorite customs. 

If discussions about the upcoming holiday season have caused an eruption of disagreements and arguments between you and your ex, you may have your work cut out to come up with fair solution. Maybe you did not include details regarding child custody during the holidays in your co-parenting plan. If not, you might want to reconsider because it's often one of the easiest ways to avoid confusion and legal problems after divorce.

Plan ahead and agree to prioritize

It might not have the spontaneous flare you typically enjoy in life if you sit down and write out a highly detailed holiday co-parenting agreement. However, you might not think it's such a bad idea when Thanksgiving, Christmas or other special occasions arise and all you need to do is look at your agreed-upon schedule to know where your children will be spending their time.

If spending a holiday or two together with your ex is a tolerable idea, you might choose it as an option so that your children can enjoy both parents at the same time. Maybe you're not that keen on the idea of being in the same room as your ex, in which case, alternating holidays might be a more viable option.

Be willing to work together when you need to make changes

Children fall ill, work schedules change without notice and any number of other issues may occur that prompt a need to change your holiday plans. Nothing can create a stressful atmosphere like co-parents who refuse to be flexible when changes or events occur that are not under someone's control.

Your children are likely to fare much better if they witness two parents who are willing to keep their best interests in mind and make adjustments in their personal lives as needed. That's not always possible, however, especially if your ex seems intent on causing trouble or tries to impede your relationship with your children.

Who can help?

If a problem arises during the holidays that involves child custody or another post-divorce related issue, try not to panic. For instance, if you're supposed to pick up the kids for Thanksgiving weekend but find out you have to work, perhaps a friend or relative can step in to care for your children until you get home.

A parent who refuses to obey a court order can be held in contempt. Any Louisiana parent facing legal problems regarding the holidays and an existing court order can take immediate steps to seek the court's intervention to help resolve the problem.

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