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Keeping the holidays happy for children of divorce

Regardless of if a divorce is recent or has been finalized for years, there are some exes in Houston that will never get along and never want to get along. The holidays can be a difficult time when exes have to negotiate sharing the children.

Sometimes an ex will want to make small adjustments to a visitation schedule because grandma or Uncle Joe will be in town. After a divorce, it is only natural that relationships with former in-laws will change. Maybe after the divorce an individual feels free to admit that they never liked their mother-in-law to begin with. Accordingly, maybe the individual isn't interested in making adjustments to accommodate their ex and their ex's family.

In the midst of the anger, it can be easy to forget how such knee-jerk reactions can affect children. While an individual's former in-laws may not be a part of their life anymore, an individual's former mother-in-law is still the grandmother of the individual's child. It might do more damage to the child to prevent them from seeing an out-of-town relative like grandma or Uncle Joe than it would do damage to the individual's ex.

The best way to handle these situations is address plans well in advance. Review visitation schedules and discuss any travel plans. Having a firm plan in advance of major holidays can prevent anyone from becoming disgruntled and having children get caught in the middle. Further, while an individual may not relish the idea of a child spending time with their other parent on a holiday, it is important not to make the child feel guilty or as though they need to choose sides.


While divorce is never easy, the holiday season can especially emphasize some of the challenges it brings. Respectful communication is helpful, and an experienced family law attorney can always be of assistance as well in contentious situations after custody arrangements have been made.

Source: The Washington Times, "Divorced families can still enjoy happy holidays with a little planning," Myra Fleischer, Nov. 21, 2012

  • For more information about child custody, visitation and modifications, please feel free to visit our Houston divorce page.

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