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Put your kids first this holiday season

Children who have divorced parents might dread the holiday season. In some cases, the parents might be able to alleviate some of the dread if they are willing to work together to make the holiday season a fun season for the children. Since Christmas is almost here, now is the time to work with your ex to determine a suitable schedule, if one hasn't already been established.

When you are making out the holiday schedule for your child, try not to make it too busy. Your child is probably more concerned about enjoying time with you than running here and there to a bunch of different places. While a busy holiday season isn't necessarily wrong, it can be overwhelming if this is your child's first holiday season since your separation.

Make sure that you and your ex are on the same page about all of the details. Transportation, pick up and drop off times and other factors that affect the holiday should all be ironed out as early as possible. It might be best to do this via email or through a parenting communication app so that everything that is decided on is in writing.

Let your child know what the plans are in advance. A lot of times, children do better with new traditions if they know what to expect. Even a young child might feel better knowing when he or she will be with each parent.

Another aspect of the holiday season that you can work with your ex on is gift giving. By working with your ex, you might be able to avoid duplicate gifts. Of course, some parents aren't worried about that aspect and the children might not mind having a bike at each parent's house.

If you are unable to come to an agreement with your ex about the fundamentals of the holiday season, you might need to seek guidance from the court. This might be the case if you don't have a holiday schedule in the custody agreement and need one to make the season easier.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Coordinating child custody during holidays," accessed Nov. 27, 2015

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