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As many in Washington who are going through the divorce process are aware, the holidays can be a particularly challenging time for some families. This can be true due to the changes that come from a divorce. Changes such as the need to alter traditions, and in some cases, change with who a child spends their holiday time. This can seem particularly complicated as families begin navigating the child custody arrangements associated with specific holidays.

When parents separate and end their marriage in divorce, changes most often come to how a family spends their holiday time together. In many instances, the traditions established when a couple was together are altered as new spouses are added to a family. In addition, child visitation agreements may mean that kids spend time without one of their parents during the holiday season.

Because the changes necessitated by a divorce can be stressful to some, authorities noted in a recent report that parents who are former spouses may wish to negotiate specific celebration times and traditions with the kids before the holiday season takes off. These discussions may range from learning what traditions are important to a child to negotiating time with each parent on special days. The decisions made by parents regarding holiday time will be different for each family.

Visitation for parents is a subject that is often up for debate in the divorce process. However, in the vast majority of cases in Washington and elsewhere, parents work to agree on what they feel is in the best interest of their children. Thus, for many families, the holidays can be an enjoyable time of year filled with new and old traditions. In situations where parents cannot reach an amicable agreement, however, they may need to seek the assistance of the court to modify existing child custody visitation agreements.