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Keep holiday stress to a minimum after divorce

You and your spouse made a mutual decision to divorce. You agreed that you would do your best to settle all child-related, property and other issues as amicably as possible in a Missouri court, even though there were issues that have prompted disagreement between you. You have no way of predicting the future; however, you may be able to plan ahead so that you can avoid problems and have a plan of action in mind if a legal issue does arise.

The holiday season is just around the bend, and this time of year often creates stressful situations for recently divorced parents. By keeping a few helpful tips in mind, you can set the tone for a peaceful holiday season but can also be prepared to handle any legal difficulties that threaten your holiday joy.

Key factors toward post-divorce holiday success

Some things in life are only understandable through experience. In short, you won't know what works for your family regarding post-divorce holiday situations until you live through a holiday or two in your new lifestyle. The following ideas might help when it comes to your kids and your relationship with your ex:

  • Clear communication is essential in all post-divorce matters, especially those involving your children. If you assume your ex means one thing but he or she later says a different meaning was intended, it can quickly create problematic situations.
  • Writing things down and signing agreements is a good way to avoid such problems.
  • Planning ahead is another stress-avoiding tool that can help you make the most of your post-divorce holiday season. If you wait until the day before Thanksgiving or Kwanzaa to decide where your children should spend their time, it might cause contention that you may have avoided had you scheduled their time well in advance.
  • Like most good parents in Missouri, you want what is best for your kids. If you and your co-parent agree to keep your children's best interests in mind and make their well-being a priority, you increase your chances for a low-stress holiday season.
  • Co-parents must be willing to cooperate and compromise. If your spouse is doing something to impede your parent/child relationship during the holidays or is acting against an existing court order, you don't have to sit back and take it.

Every family situation is unique and you know what is best for your kids. If there are special occasions that you feel strongly about spending with your children, you can get it all in writing and seek the court's approval. This type of written plan often helps avoid legal problems following divorce.

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