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Child custody issues can add stress to the holiday season

Every year at this time, Hallmark attempts to convince us that the holiday season is a time of love, kindness to humanity and a feeling of overwhelming peace and serenity that envelops all of humankind. For those experiencing divorce and the emotional strain that child custody puts on the family dynamic, it may be anything but a happy and peaceful time of year in Maryland. Nevertheless, there are steps that can be taken to ease the stress.

As with so many other aspects of life, communication can be a key ingredient for a happier holiday season. If there is a court order detailing child custody, making sure the order is fully understood and communicated to both parties ahead of the holiday can help prevent added anxiety and emotions as the holiday nears. Communication should include talking with the children as involving them in planning may help them adjust to the new situation.

It helps to be as positive as possible. Older children may mourn the absence of some of the prior year's holiday traditions. Come up with new traditions that can be shared. Find a winter sport to take up or a holiday experience that hasn't been part of past traditions.  Remember to share any travel plans with one's ex-spouse as this can help diffuse tensions and prevent conflicts in holiday plans.

The holiday season can be a stressful time for the happiest of families and that stress becomes magnified when divorce enters the picture in Maryland. Child custody issues need not be a contributing factor. A review of one's child custody order, and consultation with a legal professional if there are questions regarding it, can go a long way toward creating a happier holiday and new traditions for the future.

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