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California families and holiday child custody concerns

Across California, children look forward to the holiday season. This is their opportunity to get a couple of weeks off from school, hopefully receive that dreamed-of toy and spend time with friends and family. However, for some divorced or separated families, the holidays can be stressful as child custody issues and individual desires collide.

In most cases, the child custody agreement will contain a specific schedule for holidays. This schedule is often different from the normal monthly or weekly schedule and allows for each parent to spend time with the child during the holiday season. This holiday schedule should be reviewed prior to making specific plans that involve the child.

Communication is also a key element in reducing holiday stress. Each parent may want to establish a holiday planning list that identifies specific times or events that each parent would like the child to participate in. Then, by communicating with each other and coming to an agreement ahead of time, each parent can make plans that involve the child. The child can then be let in on the excitement of what he or she will be doing throughout the holiday season.

For most California parents, the child's happiness is the determining factor for which holiday events he or she will participate in. By planning ahead, the stress surrounding holiday child custody issues can be reduced and new holiday traditions can be created. In the event that the parents are unable to reach an agreement on holiday custody issues and this topic is not addresses in the child custody agreement, it may be time to discuss the matter with experienced counsel in order to alleviate future problems.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, "3 Stress-relieving holiday tips for separated or divorced parents", Amanda Cannavo, Dec. 12, 2016

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