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Resolve to be a better co-parent in the New Year

The holiday season can be a difficult time to be a divorced or separated parent. When coupled with the stress often associated with the holidays, dealing with problematic child custody arrangements and visitation schedules can be overwhelming for Michigan parents. It is understandable that this can lead to an unsatisfactory and less-than-enjoyable holiday season. However, parents who feel their holidays were negatively affected by their relationship with their ex-spouses can take steps to ensure that they are not plagued by the same problems in 2013, taking advantage of the New Year to resolve to make things different.

Anticipation is a key part of what makes the holiday season so enjoyable and exciting for children. Experts consistently remind us that it is important for parents to avoid ruining this experience by exposing their child to unnecessary disputes and arguments. Divorced parents should attempt to put aside their differences and focus on their child during the holiday season, exercising effective co-parenting techniques to help make their child's holidays as happy and free from stress as possible.

To ensure the child does not witness fighting, parents are encouraged to try to remain calm and amicable around each other. A child whose parents are happy and energetic during the holidays is also more likely to enjoy the season. The holidays should be a particularly special time for children; parents who are able to co-parent effectively can avoid sullying their child's experience and create fond memories of the season.

If parents who are separated and in the throes of divorcing have succeeded in making the holidays brighter this year, then the next step is to commit to exercising the same behaviors throughout the whole of the coming year. And, if it happens that the details of child custody, visitation and parenting plans haven't been resolved, consider working with experienced legal counsel to reach terms about such matters that will help achieve the best results for all parties.

Source: The Huffington Post, "This Holiday Season, Love Thy Ex," David Wygant, Dec. 20, 2012

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