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Communication essential when negotiating holiday visitation

Texas parents who are heading toward divorce, or who are divorced already, sometimes struggle to agree with whom the kids will get to spend which holidays. Many suggest that negotiations regarding the holidays are best done at the time when child custody and visitation are discussed. To avoid arguments that may spoil the holidays for both parents and children, agreements in writing are always better than verbal agreements.

If left too late, emotions can get the better of parents, and this may prevent them from being reasonable. The key to successful negotiation about child-related issues is communication and compromise. Parents who find it difficult to come to an agreement may benefit from considering the advantages of family law mediators. A professional mediator can facilitate negotiations that may lead to a parenting plan that will be fair to all parties over the holidays.

Some parents agree on alternating holidays every year -- if the kids spend Christmas with mom this year, it will be dad's turn next year, and so on. In cases in which the parents live short distances from each other, they may choose to share the days so that the children will spend half the day with each parent. It really all boils down to being reasonable and accepting that both parents have equal desires to spend special days with their children.

Battling over these issues puts the children in the middle sometimes, potentially spoiling the holidays for them. It may be a good idea not to be controlled by the dates on the calendar. Children may be only too happy to celebrate Christmas on two consecutive days. Texas parents who are in the middle of divorce proceedings, or divorced already, may find comfort in knowing that their respective divorce attorneys can assist in reaching mutual agreements on parenting plans and visitation schedules that may allow for holidays that will be remembered for many years.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Holidays, Divorce and Who Gets The Children?", Jason Levoy, Dec. 23, 2015

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