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Holidays may be more stressful in divorced households

Georgia parents who have obtained a divorce or who have been considering ending their marriage might already be aware of the difficulties associated with the holiday season. Since both parents usually want to be with their child or children during the Christmas season, there is often a conflict of interest between the two parents. It is a well known fact that family courts have a heavier caseload around the holiday season.

Experts on custody issues advise using creativity, negotiation and compromise to navigate the holiday minefield with a minimum of hurt feelings. Authorities on the issue note that flexibility can make problems like the holidays much less overwhelming.

For example, it may be possible for one of the two parents to move the date of their Christmas celebration. The child could therefore attend Christmas in both households, heading off what could have been a difficult situation. If that is not appropriate, then the parents might agree to alternate years. The custodial child might spend one holiday season with one parent, then the next with the other. A written parenting plan can be a valuable asset in situations such as this. It could provide a handy dispute resolution tool as well as clearly laying out expectations from the beginning.

The adversarial nature of family court litigation may make the assistance of an attorney beneficial to anyone who has to advocate for their parental rights and their child's best interests. A family law attorney can in some cases suggest alternatives to expensive and prolonged court battles, such as negotiations or mediation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Holidays, Divorce and Who Gets The Children?", Jason Levoy, Dec. 23, 2015

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