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How to keep the happy in your holidays in a co-parenting plan

When you decided to divorce, you likely expected to encounter various types of challenges, especially regarding your children. Helping them adapt to your new lifestyle no doubt became one of your highest priorities as soon as you filed paperwork in a Wisconsin court. You hopefully have a strong network of close friends and family, several of whom have perhaps already navigated similar situations in the past, who can give you advice and be there to encourage and support you and your kids, as needed.

Even with the best support possible, there's no guarantee that you won't run into problems, especially legal issues, if you and your ex disagree about important matters, such as child support, custody or visitation. As the 2018 holiday season kicks off, you might be a bit anxious about your co-parenting situation.

Ideas to keep stress levels low

If your ex is someone who constantly tries to impede your relationship with your kids or is unreliable when it comes to adhering to the terms of your court order, you may have your work cut out to make it through the holidays without a lot of negative stress. The following tips may be helpful:

  • Co-parents often wind up arguing over gifts, especially if they buy the same things. You can avoid this type of problem by meeting with your ex ahead of time and writing out a list of what each of you plans to give to  your children.
  • Compromise is a key factor to successful co-parenting. Is insisting upon a particular gift really worth the fallout that might occur if neither of you is willing to cooperate for your kids' sake?
  • Making your children's well-being the central focus point of all divorce proceedings and co-parenting during the holidays and beyond is one of the best ways to avoid serious legal problems.
  • If you're having a difficult time coping with your emotions, it may be a good idea to reach out for support from licensed counselor or faith leader in your community. Kids often take cues from their parents' behavior, so by showing them that you are taking care of your emotional health, they may be more inclined to do the same.

Even families with both parents living under the same roof often experience stress during the holidays. Your divorce doesn't necessarily have to mean the end of your holiday fun. If a legal problem arises that you feel is threatening your parental rights or causing your relationship with your children to suffer, you can take immediate steps to rectify the situation by bringing the matter to the court's attention.

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