Ten Tips for the Holidays

If you’re divorced or you’re in the process of getting divorced, the holidays can be trying times for you and your children. If you are in the process of a divorce right now in the Jacksonville, Gainesville, Boca Raton, Fleming Island or Daytona area, be sure to consult an attorney who has experience in family law. In the meantime, here are ten tips to make the holidays easier.

1. Talk To and Organize With Your Children's Other Parent.

Call or send a brief e-mail to your former spouse so that you can coordinate the holiday activities. You don't want your children to end up with a full belly from a feast at Mom's house when a similar meal is about to commence at yours, nor do you want duplicate presents to be bought from both parents. A little communication can go a long way toward preventing these kinds of problems.

2. Be Detail-Oriented.

Work out ahead of time exactly when and where the kids will be picked up. This not only saves you from headaches, but more importantly does the same for your kids.

3. Don't Worry About How Much Money You Are Spending on Your Kids.

It is easy to get caught up in a spending competition with your former spouse. Recognize that your time and emotional attention are probably more important to your kids than your money. Focus on spending quality time with them and showing them how much you love them rather than stressing over the price of your gifts to them.

4. Start New Traditions.

Children of divorced parents will often feel sad during the holidays because they remember the traditions they shared with both parents in the past. For this reason, it is important to start new traditions that they can look forward to in the future.

5. Find Something Valuable to Do With Your Time Alone.

If this is your first holiday season since the divorce or separation, you are probably not going to be used to the extra time spent alone during the period that your kids are with their other parent. It is important during this time not to dwell upon your loss but to instead focus on positive activities. Read a good book, watch something entertaining on television, or go out and mingle with others. Don't spend this time doing anything stressful.

6. Be Understanding.

Recognize that the holidays are not all about you. Even if you are not getting the kids as much as you would like to, be satisfied that at least they are having a good time with their other parent.

7. Consider Spending Some of The Holiday Together With Your Children's Other Parent.

Although this can be difficult to do emotionally, one way of dealing with the problem of equitably arranging time with the kids is to simply spend some of your time together with your former spouse and your children. This is especially helpful if the separation was very recent and the kids have not had much time to adjust.

8. Seek Counseling, If Necessary.

In addition to seeking an attorney in family law, you may also need to seek counseling to talk about the feelings you have about your divorce and your hopes for quality relationships in the future. If you are finding it especially difficult to make it through the holiday season, this is something to consider.

9. Make Advanced Plans With Your Extended Family.

If you are too depressed to spend time with your own extended family during the holidays or if you need added support and encouragement from them, let them know ahead of time. They may be under a false impression as to how well you are holding up. By telling them how you are feeling ahead of time, you avoid hurt feelings and future problems.

10. Plan Ahead for Next Year.

If it is already too late to implement these tips this year, then don't beat yourself up over it. Instead, begin planning ahead for next year right now.

Kenny Leigh and Associates serves men only in Northeast Florida and South Florida. They have 5 offices to better serve you: Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona, Fleming Island and Boca Raton.

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