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Arranging holiday parenting time is crucial for divorced parents

This is the most difficult time of year for many divorced North Dakota parents and their children. It often involves shuttling them back and forth between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to make sure that they get to spend time with both parents and all the grandparents. Since most kids are out of school for a couple of weeks, it can also mean vacations with one or both parents.

Even the friendliest divorced couples can find this a stressful time. Often, children are left feeling like they're abandoning one parent when they're with the other one. How do you resolve parenting time issues around the holidays so that it's the joyful time it's intended to be and not filled with turmoil and unresolved issues?

If you and your ex-spouse worked out holiday parenting time arrangements in your child custody agreement, that should help things go smoothly. You have a document that everyone can refer to if there are issues. It also gives children a sense of security that everything has been worked out, so they know what to expect. Depending on how old they are, they probably have wishes and plans of their own for the holidays.

Don't forget during all the fuss and added family pressure of this time of year that the most important thing about your parenting time is to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your child(ren). This is true no matter how much or little parenting time you have.

At our firm, we always say that divorce is not the end of a family. It's just a new paradigm. If children see their parents handling it maturely, it will help them as they grow up and life brings unexpected changes.

We also remind parents to continue to have responsibilities and rules no matter whose house they are in. It gives kids a sense of security when they have a routine they can count on.

We help spouses who feel that they are not getting the time they want with their children, both over vacations and holidays as well as year round. Our focus is on what's best for the children, but we fight to help our clients get the chance to be the best parents they can be.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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