How To Survive The Holidays After Divorce

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Dissolving a marriage is tough, and doing so during the holidays can be even harder. Seasonal songs, foods and activities can now be reminders of what you do not have instead of what you do. While there is no way to make it easy, there are things you can do to make sure you and your family make it through the holidays with joyous experiences in your new family dynamic.

Focus on the positive

It may sound clichéd, but the results of overlooking the negative and making the best of every situation are nothing short of amazing. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself that you do not have a date to bring to Christmas dinner, invite a friend or neighbor who is also alone. Rather than telling your children that they will miss out on parties because the custody orders state they must be with the other parent, remind them how fun it will be to have two families to celebrate the holidays with. Adjusting to the changes will be hard, but focusing on the positives is the best way to make a bad situation doable and even enjoyable.

Create time schedules

Whether you have a court-ordered schedule for the holidays or are required to figure it out on your own, planning all the details such as drop-off and pick-up times and locations beforehand can make the transition smoother. There are many options for scheduling:

  • Switch-off years: Some families find that having the children for the entire holiday every other year works best. One father stated that he and his wife traded off years, and he enjoyed traveling with his parents when it was not his year with the kids. In situations like this, a makeup day can be scheduled. For example, Christmas could be celebrated on January 2 instead.
  • Full-day swap: Another option is having the kids on certain days. During multi-day holidays like Hanukkah, each parent can take half the days. Even Christmas can be switched, with one parent taking the kids on the 24th and the other on the 25th.
  • Half-day swap: Families who want to spend every holiday together may benefit from having the kids spend the morning with one parent and the evening with the other.

No matter which option you choose, planning a schedule early on will reduce the need to communicate changes to the schedule during a sensitive time.

One of the best ways to make it through the holidays when you are divorced with as little stress as possible is to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you with your parenting plan. Contact one today and relax as you focus on making the holidays a little merrier and brighter.