Children, Divorce and the Holidays

The family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law explain methods for helping children of divorce during the holidays.

While the holidays are a time of family fun for many, this time of year can prove to be more difficult for children whose parents have recently split or are in the process of splitting. The changes in routine can pose new challenges for both spouses and their children. If you and your spouse are in the process of getting a divorce or have recently finalized a divorce, there are several steps you can take to help your children adjust to the various changes. Here are the top three strategies you can utilize during this holiday season.

  1. Coordinate Plans. During this time of uncertainty, ensure that your children know where, when and with whom they will be spending their time during holidays. Avoid making children feel rushed with the quality time they spend with one parent over the other by delegating an entire day with each parent, even if it means having to celebrate the holiday on a different day. At the end of the day, it is not about the timelines or the actual day on the calendar, but rather the moments each parent is sharing with his or her children.
  2. Create Traditions. In the midst of significant lifestyle changes, try incorporating holiday traditions that you and your family celebrated before the divorce without disregarding your spouse. This familiarity can help put your children at ease, as they can see that even though their parents are each making new life changes, they are still prioritizing their family time. However, do not stress if such traditions become too difficult to continue or your children do not want to do the same things that the family previously did throughout the holidays, as these feelings are normal reactions to a divorce. Instead, embrace the opportunity to create new traditions and memories.
  3. Focus Less on Money and More on Joy. People tend to overspend during the holidays, and with all the financial changes that take place throughout the course of a divorce, there is no need to compete for the children’s love through lavish gifts. Communicate with your spouse to help create a sense of stability. Do not try to win your children’s favor by spending more money on them; instead, invest in the gifts of time and attention.

Above all, listen to your children and keep their best interest in mind as you and your spouse proceed through your divorce during the holiday season. As difficult as it may seem, utilize the holiday spirit to strengthen relationships and employ behaviors that encourage closeness rather than separation. Should issues pertaining to custody arrangements or additional aspects of the divorce arise, consult with your divorce attorney.

For more information about helping your children during a divorce throughout the holiday season or your personal family law matters, contact the family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law today.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide about the subject matter. A licensed Maryland attorney should be sought about your specific circumstances.