You filed for divorce in a Georgia court because you determined it the most viable option in whatever marital situation you were facing at the time. You no longer wanted to stay married, but you also didn't want your decision to divorce to adversely affect your children. Now that another holiday season is underway, you are worried about your ex -- in particular, the fact that your stress level seems to soar whenever the two of you interact.
You're definitely not alone in your struggle, as many others who have divorced could no doubt attest to similar feelings. The fact that you don't like to be around your former spouse, however, doesn't necessarily have to mean that you can't navigate the holidays without some angry outburst occurring. There are several things to keep in mind that may help you keep stress to a minimum and overcome problematic issues, if they arise.
Your children are your highest priority
It's not uncommon for kids to have mixed emotions as they approach their first holiday season after their parents divorce. While your ex may grate on your nerves and although you have every reason to protect your parental rights, dragging your kids into the middle of your adult battles might be counterproductive. By keeping adult matters between adults, your kids are more likely to enjoy their holidays.
Prevent problems through thorough planning
When you divorced, you understood that you'd always have a relationship with your ex because you are parents of the same children. This means you have to be able to discuss issues that pertain to them. When it comes to holiday celebrations, the more you plan ahead of time, the less likely you'll run into trouble. You can even incorporate your holiday schedule into your court-approved co-parenting plan.
Don't re-hash old issues
Perhaps, you have bad memories of holidays past during your marriage. It's typically not a good idea to bring up old problems, especially if your children are within earshot. If there is a particular issue that is causing you concern, but it is nothing detrimental, you might consider waiting until after the holidays to talk about it with your ex. On the other hand, you never need to wait to bring a serious legal issue to the court's immediate attention.
You have options
In short, choosing your battles and focusing on your children's best interests are key factors that can help make your first post-divorce holiday season less stressful. Children fare best when they know they have the loving support of both their parents. If your spouse refuses to adhere to an existing court order or is somehow impeding your relationship with your kids, you can ask an experienced family law attorney for guidance as to how best to rectify the situation.