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After a California divorce, the holidays can be difficult — especially if the couple had children. No matter which parent it is, one of them is usually going to be without the kids on holidays. That typically depends upon the child custody agreement negotiated by the parties during the divorce. Old traditions the family had during the marriage only bring back memories of holidays that will never be the same for anyone.

Each parent may wish to focus on finding new ways to celebrate the holidays. Of course, a holiday does not have to be celebrated on the actual day in order to be special. If a parent does not have the children for Christmas, there is nothing stopping that parent from celebrating either before or after the actual date.

Not being together is not only hard for the parent, but for the children as well. It may help to encourage the children to enjoy themselves with the other parent. The party that does not have the children may also need to reassure the children that he or she will be okay, and this could turn out to be true. An unintended side effect of sharing custody of the children is that each parent gets at least some time to his or herself. Take advantage of this time and do not feel guilty.

One of the most difficult transitions after a divorce may just be getting used to the child custody arrangement. California parents and children go from being together at the holidays to spending them apart. Determining how the parents will share custody is one of the most important issues resolved during settlement negotiations. The more willing each parent is to work out a compromise that is truly for the benefit of the children, the better off everyone could be in the end.

Source: Huffington Post, Coping With Divorce at Thanksgiving, Jackie Pilossoph, Nov. 26, 2013