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Surviving Christmas and child custody

Christmas is a joyous time of year. It can also be one of the most stressful. For parents who have divorced or separated, child custody issues can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. Here are some tips to help you and your ex survive the holiday season with a smile still intact:

-- Don't feel guilty. It's hard not to do so when divorce is so difficult on everyone. If you hold onto the guilt, it could get in the way of having a terrific time with your children.

-- Enjoy the time you have to yourself. That can be hard to do if you're used to the "go, go, go" that is often associated with kids. This is time to renew and rejuvenate yourself.

-- Don't call your ex repeatedly on Christmas Day. Let your ex have his or her time with the kids. While you'll want to call to at least wish your children a Merry Christmas, take the rest of the day to celebrate, too.

-- Reassure your children. Sometimes, children are nervous about spending time with the other parent. Maybe they feel as though they have to choose sides. Your children will feed off your own emotions, so keep a smile on your face and let them know that they will have a good time at their other parent's house.

-- Be ready for the children to come home with an attitude. If they lash out at you, remember that they may feel torn because they want to be with both of their parents. If you have refueled as you needed to, you should be ready to handle just about any event.

For those that believe their child custody orders need to be modified, it's time to ask an attorney what is needed. He or she can provide the advice you need.

Source: Huffington Post, "8 Commandments for Surviving Christmas Custody," Tiffany Benyacko, Dec. 18, 2015

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