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Is your holiday custody schedule a winner or loser?

As we cruise into the holiday season, it's a good time to review your holiday custody schedule to make sure that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

The holidays are an inherently stressful time for most of us anyway, and for families divided by divorce, it can even be more so. Depending on the relationship you have with your ex — cordial or icy? — you may have a little wiggle room to tweak some of the specifics.

If you have a tense relationship with your children's other parent, it is probably best to strictly follow the agreement that is already in place. The last thing that either of you should want is a screaming struggle over the custody arrangements for the minor kids.

Regardless, all of your and your ex's decisions should be guided by what is best for the children and not necessarily what is most desirable or convenient for the adults. For example, although both parents will want to have the kids on the actual holiday, it's completely unfair to make the children spend the day shuttling from mom's house to dad's and then over to grandma's.

That's why it's a good idea to plan your custody schedule to where dad has the kids on Thanksgiving on even number years and mom has them on Christmas. Each year it switches, allowing parents the continuity to plan the holiday with the custody arrangements in mind.

It can also be a big relief to the kids to have it set in stone where they will be spending the major holidays each year. They, too, deserve to be able to plan events to share with friends and extended family at both parent's homes.

If your custody arrangements have truly become untenable, a Pennsylvania family law attorney can help you file for a custody or visitation modification.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Reduce Stress During the Holidays with Holiday Custody Arrangements and Visitation Schedules," accessed Nov. 10, 2017

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