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3 Ways Recently-Divorced Parents Can Prepare for the Holidays

bells.jpgThe holiday season is just around the corner. Whether you are excited about this or not, it can be a hectic and stressful time of year. This can be especially true if you are a parent navigating the holidays for the first time since a divorce.

Because the next several weeks can quickly become overwhelming, consider taking the following steps now to prepare yourself and your children for the holidays.

Set your schedules

Even if you think you already know it, be sure both parents are on the same page regarding holiday custody. You should also discuss any school or religious events in which your child may be participating. Will you both attend? Notify each other of any trips you plan to take with or without your children, as well.

And since the weather can be quite unpredictable in Minnesota this time of year, be sure that you both know what to do if extreme weather affects custody exchanges or transportation for your child.

Organize your paperwork

In addition to your custody schedules, keep other paperwork related to your divorce handy. This can include any agreements you reached regarding gift giving for your child and details of any support you pay or receive. Having all this information can make it easier to create a holiday budget.

You should also be sure you have documents like a child's passport and your parenting agreement if you will be traveling with your child. Be sure the parent traveling with the child also has a letter from the other parent giving permission. Some states and Canada require the letter to be notarized. If you don't have these items, you could face complications and delays.

Consider new opportunities

The first holiday season after a divorce can be especially painful, especially for parents who may not be spending as much time with their children as they would like. Because of how difficult this can be, think about new ways in which you can make the time special.

Suggestions could include taking a trip with friends, starting new traditions with your children, or gifting yourself something to support self-care. 

The holiday season can be stressful and difficult after a divorce. However, these tips can make it a little easier. Remember, too, that the holidays will pass, and a new year can bring a fresh start and a new chapter.

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