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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

How divorced parents can keep holidays fun for kids

For divorced parents in Tennessee and their children, the holidays can be a difficult time. It is critical that parents stay focused on their children's needs by planning early. More specific plans are less likely to create confusion or be open to misinterpretation, so parents should spell out when the child will be at each household as well as at what time exchanging the child will occur.

Children can use the phone or computer to make regular or video calls to the other parent in order to stay connected throughout the holidays. As with in-person visits, this should be strictly scheduled to avoid confusion or disappointment, including agreeing upon who will make the call, what type of call it will be and at what time.

Parent might want to put their holiday plans in writing and make it a legal agreement. Talking Parents and Our Family Wizard are examples of court-monitored tools that parents can use to communicate. These tools can eliminate negative remarks between parents and ensure that both respond to one another regularly and comply with the agreement.

While some parents may carry a great deal of anger after the divorce, studies have shown that if parents are able to cooperate in their co-parenting, the adjustment is less difficult for children. Other aspects of co-parenting could be modeled upon the holiday plans in terms of making sure that plans are specific and legal agreements are made. In the parenting agreement that they create during the divorce, parents can address issues ranging from the child's diet to extracurricular activities to bedtime. However, these are not necessarily issues that are appropriate to keep revisiting the court about, and parents may want to include a plan for handling disagreements.

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