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How to make the holidays about togetherness even after divorce

The holiday season is a big deal for most families. Traditionally, it is considered to be a time to gather friends and family together and count one's blessings. Residents of California who are going through a divorce, or who are already divorced, may find it difficult to feel gratitude during such an emotional period.

Regardless of who initiated a divorce, it is likely that both spouses will have mixed emotions. As painful as it may be to accept that a marriage is over, any children involved will find it even more so. They may feel the pull of divided loyalties, and it is important to remember that they may require extra reassurance during the holiday season.

It is natural for a non-custodial parent to wish to spend some holiday time with his or her children. It is also natural for children to wish to spend time with both of their parents. If divorced parents are able to set aside the differences that led to their divorce, or that have arisen since their divorce was finalized, it may be possible for parents to share the holidays with their children, as opposed to sharing their children during the holidays. 

When parents are amicable during the holidays, it can eliminate stress from their children's lives. If residents of California find themselves unable to arrive at a mutually agreeable visitation schedule then there are options available. One may choose to engage the services of a mediator, who is a neutral third party, who can facilitate discussions about visitation and other issues relating to the divorce. Seeking advice and guidance in this manner may create the possibility to extend feelings of gratitude beyond the holiday period.

Source: slate.com, "Giving Thanks After A Split", Aisha Harris, Nov. 25, 2014

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