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Holiday chaos: When gifts and custody collide in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2013 | Divorce

Enjoying the holidays is something that sounds simple, but is actually quite complicated. Even with help from Santa Claus, they do not just come together like magic. Parents in Minnesota are likely familiar with the stress and strain of getting through the holiday season, and this can be even more pronounced when two parents are divorced.

Divorce brings a whole new level of anxiety to the holidays, especially when there are kids involved. Suddenly, one Christmas morning can turn into a week-long event of shuffling the kids from one house to another to celebrate with different groups of people. This can mean a lot of stress, frustration and yes, toys. Kids who are celebrating multiple Christmases may have several gifts in different places, which can cause some confusion.

There are many issues that can come up during this time of year when it comes to gift-giving for children. Each parent wants to make their kids happy, but too many turn it into a competition of who can get the best or most gifts for the kids. While it can be difficult, parents may want to try and work together in their gift-giving efforts to keep things fair and peaceful. They may also want to make decisions together on what the kids will be allowed to bring with them to another house and what should stay behind.

There can also be issues when one parent gives a child something that has to be lugged between houses or is inappropriate. Sharing custody shouldn’t be made more complicated by requiring a child to pack up large or elaborate gifts every time they switch houses. Nor should it involve giving kids something that the other parent will be required to care for or keep, like a pet. Communication on these issues can be crucial in preventing holiday gift disasters.

Every parent wants to make the holidays special for children. Although it can put a lot of stress on adults, kids look forward to this time of year all year long. And while they are excited about gifts, Santa, candy and school vacations, parents know that the season is about much more than these things. It is about spending time together, being joyful and sharing traditions. Even though a divorce can complicate these things, parents can try working together to make sure their children have a great holiday season.

Source: Associated Press, “Holiday Gifting Can Be Vexing for Kids of Divorce,” Leanne Italie, Dec. 23, 2013

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