As Texas residents prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, those who have gone through divorce understand how emotional and complicated this time of year can become. By dissolving a marriage and creating child custody plans, long-standing holiday traditions may change.

Knowing that divorce can alter holiday dynamics may disappoint those considering or currently working through a divorce. Fortunately, however, there are ways to plan ahead to continue with legal proceedings and keep the holiday cheer.

One of the first things divorced Texans can do is create a list of all the holiday traditions that have been important in the past. Some of these traditions can still be kept with various friends or family members, yet others may not be as feasible. This is why it’s important to adapt expectations and consider creating new holiday traditions.

For those divorced Houston residents with children, being able to see your kids at holiday time may be important. This is why it can be very valuable to explicitly state how custody arrangements will be adjusted to accommodate the needs of both parents and children in your agreement. For example, the kids may spend Halloween with one parent and Thanksgiving with the other. At the same time, if there aren’t geographical restrictions, children can split their time on holidays in order to see both sides of their family.

Above all, thoughful planning can be a solid way to adapt to the holiday season in post-divorce life. If children are involved, make sure their voice is heard when making plans. This way, all parties can look forward to holidays in the coming years.

Source: The Columbia Daily Tribune, “Facing the holidays after a separation or divorce,” Kathy Leonard, Nov. 16, 2012