Holidays Bring Extra Dose of Anxiety to Children of DivorcePut Your Children's Needs First, Advises Texas State Bar Family Law Chair
(Dallas) Children of divorced parents often find the holidays the most trying time of the year. There are two houses to visit, step-families to navigate, and the ever-present tension between their formerly married parents.
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, divorced parents should know they can do much to alleviate the stress, says family lawyer Mary Jo McCurley, chair of the State Bar of Texas' Family Law Section and name partner in the family law boutique of McCurley, Orsinger, McCurley & Nelson.
"Regardless of their family situation, children still love the holidays," McCurley says. "Everything from deciding what they're going to be on Halloween to opening presents at Christmas or Hanukkah, all these things are magical for kids. And divorced parents shouldn't detract from that magic simply because they aren't living together anymore."
In particular, parents who have relocated since their divorce need to be sensitive to the needs of their children. The Family Law Council, an arm of the State Bar's Family Law Section, has produced a video on the needs of children whose divorced parents have relocated. It will be distributed later this year.
McCurley offers these tips for divorced parents:
"I give my clients the same advice every year, and that's to put themselves in their children's shoes," McCurley says. "As adults, we have to make sure we do what we can to make the holidays special for our kids."