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Handling the holidays is easier when a plan has been made

With the winter holidays approaching, divorcing couples might have but one thing on their minds: What happens to the kids. If your arrangements are tentative at best, now is a good time to sit down and solidify them, at least for the next few weeks. Waiting until the night before Christmas Eve to say you want your kids home for Christmas is a bad idea; it can lead to fights and arguments over who should have visitation rights that day. Or, you could both end up having to miss family celebrations because of driving to pick up or drop off the kids.

What you should be doing is taking the time to make arrangements now, so you know exactly what's happening and when. Discuss arrangements to pick up the kids or to drop them off, and stay firm with the times. Once you make an arrangement, include your children, if they're old enough, in your decisions. You can talk to them together if you're in a position to do so, or each of you should take time to talk to them separately.

One thing to remember is that it might be impossible for one of you to get Christmas Day or Christmas Eve as you planned. Try not to focus on that as much as possible, and think of what's in the best interest of your child or children. They deserve to have a day where they aren't being rushed around, even if that means celebrating two days in a row at different houses.

If you and your spouse can't agree, it might be time to consult a mediator or to talk to your attorney about going to court. It's unlikely that you can get into court before the holidays, but there are other ways to work out a solution.

Source: The Mercury, "Child custody and the holidays: Do's and Don'ts," Andrew D. Taylor, accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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