The holidays are a time of year typically spent with family. However, if you are in the middle of a divorce or custody battle, the holidays may be not so merry. With more than 15 years experience as a divorce attorney, Lanae Harden, who chairs the Family Law Practice Group at HARDEN JACKSON, LLC, offers the following suggestions:

1. Be flexible. You may have traditions that you enjoy that need to be changed a little. Also, be realistic about sharing parenting time with your ex-spouse. Enjoy the time you do have and be present for each moment.

2. Start new traditions. Now that life has changed, create a new family tradition that you can share with your children. Create positive memories for them, even if you aren’t feeling your best. Besides, if your children are happy, your mood will improve.

3. Plan ahead. Be sure to plan parenting time with your ex-spouse so there are no surprises. It will make the holiday season much less stressful for you and your children.

4. Don’t isolate yourself. If you don’t have plans during the holidays, make them. Ask a friend or other family member to join in their celebration, plan a celebration at your house or treat yourself to dinner out.

5. Prepare your children. Talk openly and honestly to your children about the holiday plans and encourage them to have a great time with the other parent.

Divorce can be difficult during the holidays, but it can also be a time of creating new experiences for your children and you.

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