Holidays and DivorceJACKSON, Mississippi. If you are in the process of getting divorced or if you recently finalized your divorce, the holiday season can be a particularly tough time. Memories of Christmases past with your ex might remind you of good times you shared, or you might be relieved to not have to deal with holiday arguments, in-laws, and the like. Many people might experience a little of both: relief and sadness. One of the more difficult aspects of holiday celebrations after divorce is deciding how you and your ex will celebrate with your children. This is where a strong parenting plan can be a life-saver. A good parenting plan will include details about how children will spend the holiday and how changes to the plan will be arranged. If you are in the process of getting divorced, the holidays offer a good reminder of the details you’ll need to work out with your ex today, so that you can avoid unneeded conflicts tomorrow. A child custody attorney like Malouf & Malouf in Jackson, Mississippi can help you ask the tough questions. For example, will one parent have the children in odd years for Christmas, or will you divide the holiday time, with one parent getting the children for Christmas Eve and the other parent having the children on Christmas day? Some families divorce amicably and choose to celebrate together—though this is rarer. So, what can you do if this is your first Christmas after divorce? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make plans to spend the holidays with family, friends, and loved ones. Don’t have the kids this year? Don’t plan to spend the holidays alone. Visit your family, or make plans to celebrate with friends. Some even choose to spend the holiday volunteering at a soup kitchen or local church. Whatever you do, put yourself out there so that you are around people.
- Consider a holiday vacation. The Huffington Post recommends that you consider the joy of a holiday vacation. If you don’t have the kids this year, this might be the perfect opportunity to get away from it all and book a spa weekend someplace nice.
- Give yourself space. While it is important to make sure you are making time to be social, you’ll also want to give yourself space to process your emotions, cry, and be sad. Don’t overbook yourself.
- Find support. Holidays can be tough after divorce, even if you have made plans to be with family, and feel good about your plans for parenting time. Join a support group of other divorced individuals. Plan a get together and get phone numbers. That way, you’ll have someone to call who understands when the kids go off to your ex’s place on Christmas Eve.
- Be grateful. MSNBC offers one tip that might not be immediately apparent as you navigate your first holiday after divorce. Think about all you are grateful for this holiday. Consider things like your health, your children’s health, and the fact that you were brave enough to leave behind a marriage that wasn’t working. Post-married life can be challenging, but there’s room to grow, change, and thrive ahead.
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