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The first holiday season after a marriage ends can be difficult

With the winter holiday season around the corner, people who have gone through divorce need to take time to plan what's going to happen. There are many things that you have to think about as you go through the "year of firsts" that attend the end of a marriage.

It is imperative that you make a plan early. This can reduce the stress that you feel throughout the holidays. If you have children, it is even more important to get things in order early so that you can enjoy the time you have with them.

Child custody arrangements

One thing that can make a big difference during the holiday season is having your child custody plan in order. This outlines when you and your ex will each have the children. Sometimes, parents opt to continue to celebrate the holidays as one family.

This might not be easy but your children may benefit from the chance to make these memories. Plus, it can set a good precedent for future holidays if everyone can get along now.

Roller coaster of emotions

The "year of firsts" includes a wide range of emotions. Be prepared to experience these throughout the season. You might feel happy to have started the process of ending a tumultuous marriage. You may be sad that you don't have more holidays as a married person.

It is possible that you will grieve the loss of the person who was once your best friend. Set aside time for you to sort through your emotions throughout the season. You never know when something will cause a reaction, so be prepared.

Difficulties of gift-giving

The logistics of gift-giving can be difficult this year. Your children may want to give your ex a gift, which can be a challenge for you. Being able to give gifts to people who are special to them can make the holidays even better for kids. You may also need to work with your ex to plan for giving gifts to the children.

Working on the divorce

If your divorce isn't already in the process, you aren't going to have it finalized by the end of the year. Michigan has a 60-day waiting period if you don't have children who are minors or 180 days if you do have minor children.

You are going to have the divorce looming over your head during the holidays. If you have to work on it, such as going through mediation sessions, keep a level head. Don't let the emotions of the holidays dictate your decisions.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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