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Divorce and the holidays: How to cope

For many people here in New Jersey, the end of the year is a happy occasion that involves spending time with family. For those who have gone through a divorce, especially if it is recent, this time of year may be less pleasant. Some struggle to enjoy themselves due to hurt feelings and complicated questions about exactly how to handle this time of year. Fortunately, experts say that there several strategies for divorced parents who want to make the holidays as pleasant as possible for their children.

The main point that parents need to keep front and center is putting their children's needs first. If the children are old enough, one of the easiest ways to accomplish that is by asking them what they want. Some parents may assume that their children want to participate in family traditions that were part of life before the divorce. However, sometimes children are happy to help create new traditions or find ways to modify existing ones.

Another way is for parents to do some self-reflection to determine if there is any residual hurt toward their ex-spouse. Some parents may still be holding on to resentment that can affect how they want to plan the holidays. Whenever possible, parents should try to work together to come up with a plan for the holidays that benefits everyone, but the children most importantly. Though it may be tempting for a parent to shower their children with gifts at this time of year, as a way of outdoing the other parent, this kind of strategy won't pay off in the long-term.

There is no question that getting a divorce will change a family's dynamic forever, but that doesn't mean that the holidays can't be enjoyable. For those who are considering divorce here in New Jersey, or who may want to modify an existing divorce agreement, a family law attorney can serve as a valuable ally. This festive season can still be a happy time that is centered around family.

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Toll Free: 800-481-8549
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