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The holidays can be tricky when parents are divorced

The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. There are financial burdens, people have to deal with their families and many people have to travel. The stress of a new divorce or child custody dispute may only make things worse. And, when parents are stressed, their children often pick up on these feelings and in turn are stressed as well.

The first holiday following a divorce can be particularly hard on the former spouses and their children. During this time, people have to grieve the loss of the traditions they once held, and learn to live with their new relationship status. For many parents, this can be the first time they have spent time away from their children during a major holiday.

Experts say that people often need to adjust their expectations for the holidays when they are newly divorced. There may be a tendency to focus on the change and feel lonely -- as time with children is split. However, experts warn that these feelings can be bad for the spouses and for their children.

Instead, people are urged to focus on the positives. People should find joy in the little moments and focus on that. Additionally, creating new traditions can help ease the transition for both parents and children. Parents can stay in contact with their children to help feel connected.

When people are alone, they should use this time to do something for themselves or for the community. If people are able to remain positive and active, their children are also likely to have an easier time adjusting to the new holiday routine.

Rhode Island families may face challenges this holiday season if they are going through a divorce. Figuring out child custody arrangements and visitation schedules - in addition to creating a plan that specifies who the children will spend certain holidays with - can be a big stress reliever when the holiday season arrives. Local family law attorneys can help divorcing couples sort through these matters. With the right help and attitude, people can move forward to a happier new life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Coping With the Holidays When Divorced With Children," Rosalind Sedacca, Nov. 26, 2014

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