Many divorced parents in New Jersey struggle with emotional distress related to the dissolution of a marriage, but the holidays can be especially difficult in shared child custody situations. Children often want to spend time with both parents and their extended family members over the holidays, but time is usually tight, and stress is already high. This creates anxiety for both parents and children, and it can also be difficult to explain to children that custody and visitation orders are still in effect during the holiday season.
A divorce attorney writing for WTOP states that it’s best to prepare children for holiday plans to set clear expectations. Providing realistic expectations can help to minimize emotional turmoil as children of divorced parents generally tend to seek out stability. Additionally, the attorney goes on to state that parents need to be willing to listen to children talk about their holiday experiences without the need to speak out about how differently they would have done something. Attempting to outdo the other parent can create conflict and add stress, and the battle for a child’s loyalty could breed confusion and resentment.
Divorced parents may also consider developing new family traditions with children that help to ease the transition into divorce. Upholding shared family holiday traditions may cause confusion in younger children, but by starting new traditions now, there is a better chance that the memories being created will have a more lasting impression as the children get older.
In dealing with divorce and parental rights during the holidays or when things become strenuous during other parts of the year, divorced parents may turn to the counsel of family law attorneys. A family law attorney may be a good resource for legal guidance and advice, and they might also serve as representatives in matters of child custody, spousal support payments and motions to amend visitation rights.