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Making co-parenting work during the holiday season

For children in Texas, the holidays can be a time of great excitement and anticipation. If divorce is part of the equation, however, seasonal happenings can also be a source of stress and potential conflict. This is especially true when children have to go back and forth from one parent's home to the other. Whether the end of a marriage is new or not, having a solid co-parenting plan in place during the holidays may effectively ease stress for children and prevent serious disagreements from affecting everyone emotionally.

Assuming that child custody arrangements have already been made, the first step commonly recommended is for parents to keep the focus on their children when it's time to deal with holiday situations. Putting feelings of animosity aside may require assistance from a therapist or support from friends. Former partners are also encouraged not to attempt to "punish" each other by limiting time with children or being unreasonable about visitation flexibility.

Coordination and clarity over issues such as pick-up and drop-off arrangements is another step that may minimize confusion and make things easier for children. Parents might also be able to make the holidays more pleasant and less stressful for kids by allowing them to discuss their experiences with the other parent without judgment. Everyone involved may also benefit from a willingness to embrace new traditions.

Should there be a need to seek a child custody modification during the holiday season, a lawyer may initially attempt to reach a mutually acceptable arrangement between parents. If everyone is in agreement with adjustments to the parenting plan and custody schedule, the court usually accepts it. An attorney could also provide representation if the court will need to make decisions because the parents aren't able to agree on modifications. It's usually necessary for a parent seeking custody adjustments to show that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.

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