Five Tips for Your First Thanksgiving as a Split Family

Thanksgiving is one of the most challenging holidays for a newly separated family. Your usual traditions and plans may be upended, and you might not even spend Thanksgiving with your children. But being separated or divorced doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving. It’ll be different, to be sure, but it’s also a good moment to create new customs that will move you happily forward into your new life.

The New Hampshire lawyers of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. want to help you resolve family law matters and step into your new life with optimism. Call us today at 888-332-5855 or contact us online to start putting your family law issues behind you. We are ready to help families throughout New Hampshire, including Manchester, Concord, and Bedford.

Here are five tips to help you plan your first Thanksgiving after separation.

Tip #1: Get your schedule settled with your ex as early as possible. You may not be feeling the holiday spirit, but you and your co-parent should start thinking about where the kids will celebrate Thanksgiving as soon as possible. If you leave these discussions until the last minute, hurt feelings and misunderstandings are bound to ensue. Getting organized early gives the entire family time to know what to expect and adjust. Remember that if you already have a co-parenting or visitation plan in place, you will need to get your ex’s consent before making any changes to it. If you don’t yet have a plan, make sure that whatever you finally agree upon is written down, specifying the time, dates, and places involved.

Tip #2: Look for emotional support. Thanksgiving is inevitably a time of heightened emotions. These emotions can become overwhelming after a separation or divorce. Ensure you have a supportive friend or family member you can lean on during the holiday. Ask them in advance to be ready to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, distract you, or provide other forms of support during the holiday. If you don’t feel supported by the people around you, look for an online support group for separated or divorced people. Sometimes, talking online with someone who has experienced a similar situation can help you feel more emotionally balanced.

Tip #3: Put a new spin on old traditions. Knowing you won’t be able to continue certain family traditions because of your separation can feel devastating. But consider how you can maintain the spirit of certain traditions. If the kids will miss eating your ex-spouse’s grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie because they’re spending the holiday with you, ask for the recipe and make the pie with your kids. If you couldn’t dream of making the Thanksgiving meal your ex used to make, start a new tradition of ordering a meal–whether traditional Thanksgiving foods or not.

Tip #4: Do something that makes you feel good. If this is the first Thanksgiving you’ll spend without your kids, it’s common to anticipate feeling down. Instead of focusing on their absence, think of ways to pamper yourself during Thanksgiving. If you prefer to be alone during this time, consider taking a short vacation to get away from it all. If traveling isn’t an option, plan a fun staycation where you spend the season doing whatever you want, whether taking long walks, plunging into a good book, getting a massage, or happily binge-watching Netflix while eating ice cream. If you feel like being around others, consider organizing a “Friendsgiving” – a get-together with friends who won’t be spending the holiday with family. Also, consider how doing something for others can lift your spirits. Look into how you can volunteer at a soup kitchen or another organization serving the underprivileged.

Tip #5: Be fair and flexible. Although you and your ex should honor your Thanksgiving arrangements whenever possible, be open to emergency changes. If your former spouse has an ailing relative and wishes the children to spend one last Thanksgiving with Grandad, or there’s another urgent reason to change the schedule, be fair and generous and try to rearrange your plans. After all, life happens… and next time, it might be you who needs the kindness.

Experienced New Hampshire Family Law Attorneys Ready to Help

Experiencing family changes or a crisis during the holiday season can be painful and destabilizing. If you need family law help, the experienced New Hampshire family law attorneys of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. are here. We represent families throughout the state, including Hampton, Derry, Goffstown, and beyond. We want to help you too. Call us today at 888-332-5855 or contact us online.

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