This is the next post in my series discussing post divorce issues that newly single Las Vegans often have to deal with within the first year following a marital dissolution. My last post provided an overview of topics that I will be discussing in the following articles. In this post I will explain how a parent can prepare their children for the first holiday season they will experience with separated parents.
If your divorce is finalized, or you are in the middle of legal proceedings, it is likely that you and your ex have already hashed out who will get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with the children. However settling on logistics is just the beginning of navigating the holiday season as a newly separated family. If you and your ex are dividing holidays then it is important to prep your children well in advance for any big changes to the holiday schedule they are accustomed to. Ensure that the children are not surprised if they typically spend a certain holiday with grandparents, cousins, aunts, or uncles from your ex’s side of the family and this year will be different. Address any concerns your children may have regarding losing touch with your ex’s side of the family and make sure they know what to expect for the holiday season. Help your children participate in coming up with new traditions and pay attention to any traditions that they hold important that they fear they will miss out on.
It may also be important to prep family members on your situation and privately ask family members to refrain from making disparaging remarks about your ex in front of your children. If there are concerns of family members bringing up hurtful or inappropriate topics in front of the children then contact them in advance and lay out the ground rules for the day. If you and your ex are on amicable terms then it may be best to have a discussion about the holiday plans overall and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. If the children have brought up any fears or concerns missing a valued tradition then it may be possible for the parents to negotiate the holiday custodial terms for the good of the children.
The first holiday as a divorced family can be stressful and awkward. The most important thing for everyone involved is to remember that the children come first, and holiday traditions often mean a great deal to children. If parents can ensure that the children are prepared, and present a united front, children will be able to adjust to the new normal and enjoy time with both families. If you have questions then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas family law attorney.