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DuPage County family law attorney for holiday child custodyThis holiday season is shaping up to be like none other. If you are in the middle of a separation or divorce, your holiday season may be especially complicated. Sharing custody of children with a soon-to-be ex-spouse is hard enough, but sharing custody during the holidays can be even harder. Keep the following tips and suggestions in mind to help your holiday season go as smoothly as possible for you and your children:

Plan the Details in Advance

When a couple with children files for divorce in Illinois, they have 120 days to create and submit a “parenting plan.” This plan will describe how they will make major decisions about the child, who the child will live with on what days, how the child will be transported between homes, and much more. If you have not yet filed for divorce, or if you have not made any decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, you may only have a casual agreement about which parent the children will see on which days. This can lead to miscommunication and frustration. It is better to plan your holidays in advance. Decide where the children will stay on what days, when they will be picked up and dropped off, and other details, and then put these decisions in writing.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are many computer programs and smartphone applications that can help you and your ex collaborate when making decisions about parenting issues. Using email or text messages to communicate about children can help avoid in-person arguments, and this can also serve as an important record of the plans you and your spouse have made. Apps like Cozi, Coparently, and OurFamilyWizard allow you to keep track of schedules, expenses, and other child-related information.

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Posted on in Divorce

Divorce is difficult at any time of the year, but it can feel especially overwhelming during the holiday season. You may find yourself feeling lonely, or missing certain traditions, or even yearning for time with your in-laws. Take heart: these painful feelings are completely normal, and they will eventually pass. In the meantime, the following can help you cope with your divorce during this holiday season.

Dealing with Family and Friends

Family and the holidays tend to go hand in hand, but it can be an added stressor when you are going through a divorce. This is especially true when you have family members who give unsolicited advice or do not seem to understand what you are going through. It is important to remember that, though they mean well, you do not have to share every detail about your life, or the divorce. Try letting them know that you would really rather not discuss the divorce during family gatherings, or take a close friend who can act as a buffer if things get too out of hand. If all else fails, consider turning down invites to events that you know might be triggering and spend time at home, taking care of yourself instead.

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