Most people in Wyoming love the holidays and look forward to them all year long. It is a time of happiness, giving, celebration and family. Those times become complicated, however, when a family is divided by divorce. Suddenly, traditions change, and those feelings of comfort and contentment are shaken. While it can easily become a time of emotional challenge, there are some things divorcing parents can do to make the holidays continue to remain a time of happiness for their children…and themselves.

Not all divorced couples hate each other. Many couples, especially those with children, find ways to remain friendly even after their marriage ends. If this is possible, the family can still continue to practice some of the traditions that they have shared over the years. This provides a sense of comfort and familiarity for the children, as well as the adults who have otherwise been experiencing so much change. Care should be taken, however, not to give the children false hope of a reconciliation.

The time that will be divided between the parents should be determined well in advance of the holiday. Some parents split the actual holiday day into parts while others alternate years, and either scenario can work as long as it is agreed upon early enough that plans can be made by both parties. The children should never be forced to decide which parent with whom they want to spend holidays. Children worry about their parents’ feelings and should never be put into a position where they feel responsible for determining their parents’ happiness or sadness.

Gift-giving is another subject that parents should agree upon in advance. Separated parents may buy joint gifts for their children, or they may choose to give separate gifts. The parents should never compete with each other for the best or most expensive gifts. Parents should always stay within their budget and should never buy gifts that are beyond their means in an attempt to outdo the other parent. After all, time and attention are the best gifts parents can give their children.

The holidays are a challenging time for parents going through divorce. However, with effort and planning, there can be plenty of happiness. With the help of a knowledgeable Wyoming attorney, divorcing parents can design a custody plan to ensure all members of the family get to spend time enjoying the excitement the holidays bring.