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How the holidays may affect child custody for New Jersey families

This time of year can bring a great deal of joy for many people here in New Jersey and across the country. The winter season often represents a time to be with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many people, the holidays can also bring a lot of stress, and for divorced families in particular, this time of year can be a struggle. Divorced parents who share children often have to determine exactly how to navigate their child custody arrangements. However, there are ways for blended families to cope and ensure that their holiday season is as positive as it can be.

Despite recent studies that indicate divorce rates are falling, it's still a reality for a great number of families. The changes that often accompany a divorce can affect parents in ways they might not have thought, especially around the holiday season. What were once considered special traditions may now be very painful to even think about, let alone attempt to continue. However, experts do have several tips on how to deal with these potentially difficult situations.

Preparing the children involved is key. A family conversation -- whether it involves both parents or just one -- to let the kids know exactly how the events of the season will unfold can be helpful. The children can also use this time to raise any concerns they might have. Parents should remind themselves that these holidays are best focused on the kids and their needs. It can be easy to allow angry or upset feelings to cloud one's judgment when it comes to child custody, but putting the kids at the center of the discussion will keep the focus on what really matters.

Having a clear plan laid out for the holiday season will help avoid any conflict. It is possible that parents will have to revisit their child custody order, and modifications to it might be what is best for everyone involved. Visitation plans are useful for divorced families in New Jersey, but if they aren't meeting the needs of children, they can and should be reconsidered. Assistance from a lawyer can be beneficial to divorced families at this time of year. This way, everyone can move forward with a clear picture of what the winter holiday season will look like, and focus on making new memories that will last a lifetime.

Source: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/2018-11-30/dealing-with-divorce-during-the-holidays, "Dealing With Divorce During the Holidays", Barbara Greenberg, Nov. 30, 2018

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