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Scheduling in the holiday season is complicated enough when one is married, as-one has to figure out with whose family the couple will spend time. Add in children, and grandparents are even more eager for them to come and visit, adding another layer of complexity to the celebration schedule. When parents are divorced, it gets even more challenging. However, with open communication and flexibility, it might be possible to navigate holiday season after divorce with minimal stress

The most important step divorced parents should take to make holiday planning easier is to begin planning early. Though broaching the subject can be difficult, approaching it properly can set the tone for the whole conversation. Rather than beginning by stating what one wants, its better to ask one’s co-parent what they have in mind. Compromise may be possible for New York parents if they try to understand what the other has in mind rather than announcing their own plans immediately.

If families are close together, some parents like to spend the holidays together even though they have separated. However, when former partners begin dating, this might not be possible any more, which is why splitting the holiday season by day might be a better idea. For example, Christmas Eve with one parent and their family and Christmas Day with the other might be one approach. It’s important to set expectations and boundaries going into the holiday season so that everyone knows what might happen.

For parents who live far away or have had less than amicable splits, dividing the holidays might be the best option. For example, spending Thanksgiving with one family while spending Christmas with the other allows everyone to enjoy the holidays without the stress of running from one place to another. Others might find alternating holidays annually another option to get through the holiday season peacefully.

The point to remember that it is of the utmost importance to create a happy and joyous occasion for one’s children. Therefore, families should figure out how to continue to do that even after they have divorced. An experienced attorney may be able to help individuals create custody and visitation plans that work for their situation.