Divorce is stressful for families across Ohio and the nation. Unfortunately, the holidays often bring out deeper emotions of sadness for those sharing custody. On top of facing the normal stress involved in the breakup of a family, divorced parents and their children also have to meet new challenges when it comes to visitation and custody. To add to this, younger children especially have a hard time understanding why they are unable to keep family holiday traditions alive with both parents. They may be averse to taking part in new traditions.

To combat these potential issues, children should be made aware of holiday plans well in advance so that they know where they will reside and with whom. It’s also important that parents allow each other to celebrate with the children in their own ways without voicing judgment or disapproval. The goal is for children to enjoy the holidays in whatever setting they are placed in, and attempting to one-up the other parent can put a damper on the joyous spirit of the season.

Parents should also discuss the situation with extended family members so that they understand the situation and how a child is feeling about it. Because extended family members are often included in shared holiday traditions, it would be a good idea to ensure children continue to have contact unless to do so would cause additional stress.

Although divorce brings about unique holiday hurdles, a family law attorney may be able to step in to provide an objective viewpoint in terms of custody and visitation agreements. This is often helpful during the holidays when emotions are running high and parents are unable to put aside differences.