JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW SULLIVAN, TAYLOR, GUMINA & PALMER, P.C.
2018 is ending, but first, you have to push through the holidays. Preparing for the holidays and the new year is instrumental to ensure that everyone has an amazing Christmas break and a fantastic start to 2019, so it’s crucial to speak with your co-parent about the holidays. I’ve encouraged divorced parents to check their parenting agreements before the holidays to make sure that they’re up-to-date or to make alterations for a particular time of year. December is no different. Whenever there is a change that might affect you, your previous spouse, or your child, it’s imperative that you make sure you’re not going against your agreement. By taking this extra step and ensuring that you aren’t violating your agreement, you can help prevent schedule conflicts. With the holidays coming up, anxiety levels can rise quickly over who has the kids during Christmas break and on Christmas Day. If you haven’t already, sit down with your ex-spouse and come up with a schedule you can agree on. If your ex-spouse had the kids last Christmas, it could be your turn to have them this year, or vice versa. With the year coming to a close, now is the best time to begin planning for next year. Talk to your ex-spouse and prepare for spring break, summer, the start of school, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays, events, or vacations that you are planning. Getting that schedule on lockdown now can prevent future confrontations and allow your children to have an easy year, with plenty of time with both parents. CHOOSING WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
can be beneficial to make a change to your surroundings to minimize reminders of painful memories. Change the dishes you’ve used on previous occasions, pick out different holiday decorations, or change the kind of food you prepare for Christmas dinner. Now is the time to create new traditions. Go out to a nice dinner on Christmas Eve, play board games on Christmas Day, go to a movie, or take a day to play in the snow — go sledding or skiing, build snowmen, or have a snowball fight. The holidays can also provide a perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself, especially if the kids are spending time with your co-parent. Recently divorced individuals can experience emotional strain, and it’s important to give yourself time to heal. Self-care is vital to your emotional health before, during, and after a divorce. Even if the holidays are hectic, set some time aside for yourself. I hope that each of you has a wonderful holiday this year, no matter what your situation is. From all of us at Sullivan, Taylor & Gumina, happy holidays! –Joseph Emmerth “I’VE ENCOURAGED DIVORCED PARENTS TO CHECK THEIR PARENTING AGREEMENTS BEFORE, TO ENSURE THAT THEY’RE UP TO DATE OR TO MAKE ALTERATIONS FOR A PARTICULAR TIME OF YEAR. DECEMBER IS NO DIFFERENT. WHENEVER THERE IS A CHANGE THAT MIGHT IMPACT YOU, YOUR PREVIOUS SPOUSE, OR YOUR CHILD, IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT YOU MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT GOING AGAINST YOUR AGREEMENT.”
In the aftermath of a divorce, the holidays may be emotionally taxing due to memories of previous holidays celebrated as a whole family. It
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