Estate & Family Law Blog

Holidays a stressful time for families split by divorce


The holidays are a time for celebration and joy for most families. However, for families in which the parents have gone through a divorce, the strain of trying to make holidays work for everyone can be intense. Whether here in Vancouver or elsewhere across the province, divided families often suffer emotionally at this time of year. With a little pre-planning, though, it may be possible to avoid heartache in the future.

Emotions are often closer to the surface during the winter holidays than they are at other times of the year. That is likely because it is seen as a time for family gatherings and outings. These are things that can be hard to coordinate for families with divorced parents who each want to have their children with them for a special event.

Many lawyers report they become inundated with calls just before and just after Christmas each year. Often, parents cannot agree on who gets the children when, and many request emergency court sessions to resolve the issue. With around 1.2 million divorced parents in Canada, it’s no wonder the holidays have become a peak season for family law firms.

It may be possible to avoid pain and disappointment during the holidays, however. Many ex-couples negotiate holiday schedules as part of their custody agreements. By having such stipulations mandated in a legal document agreed upon by both parties, the holidays can be a more peaceful time for divided families. Such arrangements can be made during divorce proceedings, or written at a later date if they appear to be necessary.

Acting in the best interests of the children should be the goal of all parents during and after a divorce. By working together in a collaborative manner, an amicable solution can be arrived at for most child custody and parenting issues. The caring associates at a Vancouver family law firm can help develop and maintain such a solution.

Source: “Dreaming of a Christmas free from custody battles: Family lawyers say holiday season is their busiest time”, Ashley Csanady, Dec. 24, 2016

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