A New Thanksgiving

Divorce means change. After the divorce process here in Minnesota completes, you will no longer be married. If you have children, some things will have to change more than others will. But with planning and the help of your divorce attorney, you can weather that change and at the end of the process, you and your family will be fine.

One change that is likely to feel daunting in the next few weeks is the Thanksgiving Holiday. As the lead into the winter holidays, it may be a real marker that you are divorced, and the way things were in the past is not the way things will be in the future.

Which is okay. The first year may be uncomfortable as you struggle with all of the readjustments you must make. If you have shared custody, you are already growing used to the handoffs, with perhaps weekly exchanges of your children.

Your custody agreement should have a detailed plan in place to ensure there is clarity going forward and expectations have been properly set for the holidays, birthdays, vacations, and other significant events in your children’s lives. And you should use that plan to help guide the reinvention of your holidays.

If you have agreed to swap holidays every year, you need to plan for the changes. If you are having a small Thanksgiving Day celebration, you should modify your traditions. Cooking for 20 when only five will attend is misdirected and is not cost-effective.

If you are not going to have your children for Thanksgiving Day, you should plan to create another time to serve your favorite items and to find some new ones. And you should plan to be with other friends or family on the day, so you can celebrate in a new way.

Planning is central to ensuring that the holidays will be true celebrations and that you will develop new traditions for your family.