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Handling the holidays after divorce

For people in Missouri, the winter holidays can be an especially challenging time to deal with divorce. Even people who are satisfied in their relationships may experience extra emotional stress during the holidays, but families who are separated or divorced might find it particularly difficult to divide time with the children. When people are newly divorced, these uncomfortable feelings can be overwhelming for people facing these issues during the holiday season for the first time.

Both parents and children will need to adjust to emotional changes during family holidays after a divorce. While families can develop a routine to share co-parenting during this period over the years, it can be a challenge to adjust to this new situation. There are several ways in which divorced parents can help to make these holiday changes more tolerable for their children and even for themselves.

Both parents should put their children first. This means putting aside anger or competition with a former spouse in order to plan generous time with each side of the family for the children. Using holiday time as a means to handle disputes between the adults will only punish the children.

One of the best ways to handle issues before they start is to develop a clear plan and schedule for how the holidays will work, including the dates and times that the children will spend with each parent and the pick-up and drop-off schedule. Having a clear, well-communicated plan can avoid emotionally difficult surprises for the children and help them know what to expect.

When parents decide to divorce, issues of child custody and visitation can be some of the most important matters to decide in the divorce settlement. A family law attorney may work to help a divorcing parent reach a fair agreement that protects the parent-child relationship.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
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  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
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  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
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  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
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  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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