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Divorced parents can navigate holiday spending cooperatively

There are many benefits to obtaining a divorce via mediation in Texas. These include, but are by no means limited to, saving time and money, avoiding court and reaching settlements which benefit the entire family. Another perk of divorce mediation is that, by discussing divorce issues in a calm environment, spouses can lay the groundwork for future negotiations with their former spouse.

For spouses who have children, this benefit can be very helpful down the road. In divorce mediation, spouses learn how it is possible to cooperate in the midst of emotional stress. This skill can be enormously valuable if conflict should arise later on, especially if it relates to co-parenting. With the holidays coming up, many divorced parents are wondering how to cooperate financially regarding their children's holiday wishes.

One of the most common sources of conflict around the holidays is spending - either one parent accuses the other of overspending, or one claims the other isn't spending enough on the children. Parents are often coping with their own financial challenges as well during this often stressful time. Fortunately, there are ways divorced parents can work together during the holidays to let their children enjoy the season without excessive stress, discord or guilt.

One solution is for both parents to agree on a "big" gift for a child, and split the cost evenly between them. Another is to plan early and potentially set a budget with the other parent. Some parents may find it easiest to agree to budgets which are exactly the same, while others may be able to discuss different budgets based on each parent's income. If divorcing parents are going through mediation, they can benefit from discussing holidays and birthdays, and the related spending, during the sessions. They may be able to reach a conclusion that benefits the child and eases the stress of both parents.

Source: The News Journal, "5 Ways divorced families can avoid holiday overspending," Kim Hoey, Dec. 8, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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