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How to avoid child custody trouble during the holidays

Holidays are often marked by observance of tradition and family celebration. Unfortunately, divorced or separated parents in Massachusetts typically have greater stress due to child custody issues throughout the holiday season. Conflict can hopefully be avoided or eliminated altogether by taking the right steps.

Planning and adhering to schedules is key for smooth holiday agendas. Looking over custody orders in advance and clearing up any confusion by communicating with the other parent can mean the difference between an upsetting and uplifting holiday season. Making an effort to communicate plans with the children can let them know what to expect and reassure them that they are being taken care of and can also enjoy the holidays.

Frequently, too much emphasis can be placed on having a specific day together over the holidays. The best way to avoid conflict is to focus on spending time with the kids, rather than spending a specific day together. The holidays are also a great time to introduce new traditions and make the holidays fun for the children and stress-free. Reaching an agreement without involving the children can also alleviate strain and help to prevent placing pressure on the children.

Child custody disputes during the holidays are at times unavoidable, however, and mediation may be the next step to smooth over any discord. Although the holidays are a time for celebration, love and reflection, tension may be edging its way into the season. In an effort to curb conflict, Massachusetts residents can give children the gift of peace and seek mediation for child custody issues that threaten to interfere with the holidays.

Source:, Child custody and the holidays: Do's and Don'ts, Andrew D. Taylor, Nov. 27, 2013

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