‘Tis the season to be merry! For families all across the world the holidays are a very important time of year–a time to enjoy the company of loved ones, a time to reflect on and give thanks for the year past, a time for forgiveness and a time to start anew. However, this time of year signifies change and with that comes a lot of anticipation, excitement and yes, stress! With everything so centered around family time, the holidays can be especially stressful for divorced parents. As experienced Nashville divorce attorneys, we see split families run into the same rut every year–not only do they have to endure the often long avoided confrontation with their ex, but they have to juggle visitation schedules with their children’s as well as the expectations of their own family and then somewhere, somehow make time for their own personal wishes. We understand it can all be a bit much, which is why we’re here to lend our Nashville divorce attorney expertise on how to get through and make the best of this year’s holiday festivities.
First and foremost, keep it civil. No matter how high emotions are running, parents should be sure to set a good example for their children. Ex-spouses should take the old “fake it ‘til you make it” approach and refrain from fueling any pre-existing animosity by bringing out any skeletons in the closet that would cause their children to feel uncomfortable during what is supposed to be a joyous celebration.
Consider and coordinate the gift-giving. As experienced Nashville divorce attorneys we get that it’s probably intrinsic nature to want to outshine your ex but we want to stress that the holidays are not a competition to see who gives the best or most gifts. If the child is wishing for a particularly expensive gift this season, the best solution is probably for the parents and even the grandparents to split the cost. That way there is no bitterness or jealousy involved.
More than ever, put your children’s feelings before your own. Even if you’re feeling down or anxious, don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve–at least not on Christmas. This is a magical time of year for children and any Nashville divorce attorney will tell you that these precious moments don’t last forever. So sing carols, decorate gingerbread houses, and read Christmas stories while waiting up for Santa—make every moment a special keepsake to store in your treasure chest of hallmark memories.
Blaze the holiday trail with some new traditions. Though long time family traditions might be fun, the memories of the past may bring about a negative sentiment especially for the children who are used to enjoying the activity with both parents. Instead of focusing on an event that highlights the fact that the family is now split in two, this year make it out with the old and in with the new! Maybe engage the family in a holiday craft or contact your Nashville divorce attorney or local county office about helping out with a community volunteer project.
Last but not least, be flexible. It’s a busy time of year and everyone wants to spend as much time with their loved ones as possible. However, divorced parents need to remember that the time spent with their children is no longer shared so accommodating your ex’s schedule is imperative to a pleasant and harmonious holiday season.
Regardless of whatever is going on within the family dynamic, it’s important to keep the magic alive for the children during the holidays. If you or someone you know is divorced and in need of the trusted advice and support of an experienced Nashville divorce attorney this holiday season please don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call (615) 790-0982! We’ll be happy to assist you.
The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.