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How can you put your kids first over the holidays?

As the holidays arrive, you may be trying to figure out how you and your ex can work together to put your kids first. Remember, their happiness is the most important thing to focus on, even if that doesn't mean the plans line up exactly with what you want.

The best thing to do is to make sure that you and your ex are involved. Yes, you want to spend a lot of time with the kids, but they deserve to be with both parents. Don't deny them this just so that you get what you're after.

There are many ways you can do this, such as:

-- Alternating holidays. For instance, you could take the kids on Christmas and your ex could get them on Thanksgiving or New Year's.

-- Splitting up the days. You may want the kids on Christmas morning, and your ex may agree if he or she gets to be with them on Christmas Eve.

-- Dividing the holiday itself. You could have the kids at your house in the morning and then take them over to your ex's house after lunch.

One key thing to keep in mind is that kids want to relax and have fun. Scheduling that is too complicated can be chaotic and can detract from the joy of the holiday season. Try to focus on retaining the festive atmosphere for them in any way possible.

While the children's happiness is the most important thing, it's also critical to remember your own rights as a parent. Be sure the holiday plans fit with the rights you were given in your custody agreement.

Source: Huffington Post, "Putting Children First: The Best Gift Divorced Parents Can Give Their Children This Holiday Season," Randi L. Rubin, accessed Nov. 24, 2016

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