Thomas M. Gurewitz, Attorney At Law

How can I deal with conflict over the holidays?

Recently divorced couples in Illinois may be dreading the upcoming holiday season. Conflict can be a very real concern in this case, and it can be just as hard on the divorced couple as it is on their children. There are steps you can take to mitigate family conflict over the holidays, as illustrated by Very Well Mind.

Have your own gathering

Holding your own holiday gathering is a great way to feel a bit more empowered after a divorce. Sniping relatives and former in-laws are less likely to behave badly away from their home turf. You also have more control in terms of who you see since you’ll be in charge of the guest list. If you’re lacking family members who make you feel comfortable, consider packing your party with friends.

Take turns with your kids

Holiday scheduling can be a nightmare for many divorced couples. Consider switching up the holidays so your ex has your kids for one event and you have them for another. This will help you sidestep some of the logistical woes of visiting several different family members in one day. It will also allow you to limit contact with your ex’s family, which can be a good thing while feelings are still raw.

Know when to say no

If it’s been a stressful year and you want to take time for yourself, don’t be afraid to turn down invitations. You may prefer to spend the holidays alone or hold celebrations with just you and your kids. This is perfectly acceptable, and chances are your family will be understanding of the situation. If there are gatherings you must attend, prepare yourself for conflict and try to keep a sense of humor about the situation.  

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