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Child custody issues can make holiday divorce challenging

During the holidays, it is natural to want to celebrate with loved ones. However, spending time with family can be challenging for those who are dealing with child custody issues as a result of divorce. A few tips might help to navigate these issues during this time of year in Montana.

First, it's helpful to remember that patience is a virtue. This includes being patient with oneself, the other parent and the children. It's also important to stay flexible, which may mean being willing to celebrate a particular holiday with the children or other loved ones on a day other than the actual holiday. Thanksgiving does not always have to be celebrated on Thursday, and Christmas does not always have to be celebrated on Dec. 25.

In addition, it is a good time to think about focusing on other people, including those who are less fortunate. One idea is to volunteer at soup kitchens. Centers that offer holiday shopping opportunities for children in need also need help. These activities often underscore a bigger purpose and provide incentives to keep moving forward in the midst of or immediately following divorce proceedings.

A Montana divorce can be traumatizing financially and emotionally. However, going through divorce mediation or negotiation, for example, may offer a greater sense of control over the proceedings. If the two parties cannot find common ground, formal litigation may be necessary, in which case a judge will make decisions regarding unresolved issues for the parties, including disputes over child custody and asset division.

Source:, "21 Tips to Survive Divorce and the Holidays", Karen Finn, Dec. 17, 2016

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