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Can you keep it civil with your ex for the kids' Christmas?

As we approach the holiday season in 2017, it's especially important for divorced parents to ensure that their children's holiday memories aren't marred by in-fighting between mom and dad.

Parents have a duty to their children to remain as civil as possible with their exes so the holidays don't devolve into a shouting match interspersed with the kids' cries. Below are some tips for keeping it civil, if not exactly jolly.

  • Retain a few of the family traditions. You may need to refine or even eliminate some two-parent holiday traditions, but strive to keep as many of the kids' favorite holiday activities intact.
  • Don't rush to include a new love interest in the holiday festivities. While the kids will need to learn to accept a parent's new partner once the relationship gets serious, introducing him or her at the holiday supper or when the kids are opening their gifts is a buzz-kill that can be easily avoided.
  • Don't have the kids spending the big day in the car. If your child is in transit from dad's house to mom's on the holiday, that's what they will remember — being shuttled like another holiday package from point A to point B. Get the travel arrangements settled the day before or sooner to allow the kids to have their holiday fun.

If you interactions with your ex bring you stress, keep them brief and focused on the children. Don't allow yourself to get baited into a conflict. Disengage and defuse the situation before an argument can escalate.

If you continue to experience issues regarding the custody exchange over holidays, you may want to revisit the issue with your Kentucky family law attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Holiday Time for Children of Divorce," Risa Garon, accessed Nov. 10, 2017

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  • Kentucky Justice Association
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