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Handling the holidays after divorce

Ending a marriage can be among the most stressful events a person will go through in his or her life. The specific outcomes of Washington divorces vary on a case-by-case basis, but they also have many things in common. In cases where children are involved, the holidays can be an especially trying time. Divorced couples often have to deal with sending children back and forth to separate homes for holiday celebrations, which can lead to emotional situations and dilemmas.

People who are co-parenting during the holidays can take steps to ensure the experience is no harder on the kids than it has to be. First, it's important to put aside any negative feelings one might have about his or her ex-spouse and focus on what's best for the kids. Parents who attempt to punish their exes by denying access to the kids, for example, are likely to cause their own children harm by the denial.

Ex-spouses should develop a holiday plan that clearly sets forth where the children will spend the holidays and where drop-offs and pickups will happen. At the same time, the parents can let their kids know what will be happening. Children are better able to cope emotionally if they know what's going on. When their children come back from his or her ex's place, a parent should refrain from questioning them.

Finally, it's important for newly divorced people to be patient with holiday traditions as they'll develop naturally. People in Washington who are contemplating or going through a divorce might want to speak with an attorney. A lawyer might be able to assist with locating a couple's assets or by drafting and filing a petition for divorce. An attorney might be able to negotiate the terms of a property settlement or argue on his or her client's behalf during child custody hearings in family court.

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