Holidays can create unexpected friction for parents

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Child Custody on Friday, January 3, 2014.

People in Maryland may have seen a recent editorial about how the holidays can be a tough time for parents who have recently divorced. Parents often see the holidays as a time to show their love for their kids, which for many people can translate to giving the kids the gifts they most want. Unfortunately, though, the best intentions of parents can end up causing ongoing tension and family strife when children in a joint child custody situation have to figure out a way to incorporate that gift into their home life with the other parent.

For example, video game systems can be extremely burdensome to lug from house to house, and just aren't terribly practical to move around. Naturally, kids want to play with their new toys, but sometimes the logistics of the situation simply don't work as planned.

Not only can this be disappointing for the kids, it can cause a headache for the parents as well. When one parent has primary residential custody, they may also end up with a lion's share of the kids' toys at their house, which, depending on the situation, can create a serious strain.

One thing parents can do is put aside their custody dispute issues and try to coordinate their gift giving so that it is practical for both parents and allows the kids to get the most enjoyment out of their toys.

Of course, the whole issue of gift giving could become an occasion to reexamine the best interests of the child. As children grow and their needs change, parents may find that a child custody modification is necessary. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, a child custody modification could help things run more smoothly for parents, their kids, and even their ex-spouses in 2014.

Source: ABC News "Holiday Gifting Can Be Vexing for Kids of Divorce," Leanne Italie, Dec. 23, 2013