Parenting time over the holidays may require flexibility | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Parenting time over the holidays may require flexibility

For divorced New Jersey parents, the holidays can present problems. Although a spouse becomes an ex-spouse after a divorce, he or she will never be an ex-parent. Court orders sometimes detail the holiday parenting time allocated to each parent, but some flexibility may be required. This is a time during which parents may want to put away their differences and focus on their children. The holidays are often as stressful for the children as they are for the parents.

Some parents' post-divorce relationships allows them to spend time together with their children, but, even if children have to spend separate time with each parent, the holidays can be made special for them. It is important for children to have happy memories to carry into their futures. It has been determined that parents who can keep their co-parenting focused on their children equip those children with similar qualities for their adulthood.

As part of a plan to focus on the children, parents can avoid anxiety in children by explaining the parenting plans for the holidays and trying to accommodate the traditions that they may regard as important. It may also ease children's stress if each parent helps them with choosing and paying for a gift for the other parent. The anticipation of receiving gifts and not having a gift to present can cause anxiety.

When significant changes to court orders are required by one parent with regards to parenting times over the holidays, it may be best to consult with an experienced attorney without delay. New Jersey courts are typically busy at this time of the year, and changes may not be made in time. A lawyer can also assist with drafting a workable plan for parenting time, even if the guidance of a mediator is required.

Source:, "Focus on children during holidays for shared custody", Malinda Williams, Nov. 11, 2015

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