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Child custody: Are you and your co-parent ready for the holidays?

Many Minnesota parents are among those across the country who have recently filed for divorce. Such situations can spark numerous challenges regarding how families spend their holidays. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and several other special holidays ahead, it pays to create a solid plan ahead of time and to get it all in writing and approved by the court. This can help avoid serious child custody problems.

The last thing children need is their parents fighting over who gets to spend the holidays with one or the other. Parents can agree to plan ahead, perhaps creating a master calendar of events and incorporating the written details into their co-parenting agreement. Even though having everything in writing helps avoid confusion and disputes, it is also a good idea to expect the unexpected, and be willing to remain flexible and agreeable to last minute changes that might have to be made, such as if a child gets sick and can't go a holiday outing that is planned for a specific day.

When two parents agree to work as a team and make their children's well-being the priority during the holidays, it is not only possible but likely that the kids will be able to adapt to their new lifestyles successfully. When the focus is on cooperating so that the children can build new memories and enjoy their time with family and friends rather than on hashing out old marital problems or trying to get revenge, chances are much greater that things will turn out fine. Some customs and traditions might change but divorce definitely does not have to mean that children's holidays will be ruined.

If a child custody problem arises, it is best to try to amicably resolve it as swiftly as possible. Most experienced Minnesota family law attorneys are skilled negotiators. It's a good idea to stay closely connected to an attorney, especially during the first post-divorce holiday season, so it is easy to access support if a particular problem is threatening to put a damper on holiday joy.

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