How to Approach Thanksgiving After a Divorce

By Lois G. Schwartz | November 23, 2021

How to Approach Thanksgiving After a Divorce

Many people going through a divorce report their biggest concern being the safety and wellbeing of their child. With the holidays approaching, you may be preparing to celebrate your first Thanksgiving after the divorce has been finalized. A divorce can divide the family and leave you to find new traditions to celebrate. Here are a few tips that we recommend that can help you get through your first year as a divorced family:

Create New Traditions

You and your family likely have traditions, as most families do. These traditions may be at risk with the new family dynamics, but that’s okay. You can use this as your opportunity to create new traditions. Think of it as a way to improve on the parts of previous traditions that you didn’t enjoy.

Put Your Child First

Most parents aim to always put their child first, but the intense feelings and emotions present in divorce can sometimes get in the way. As you plan for how you’ll celebrate upcoming Thanksgiving, remind yourself that your child’s needs are a priority. Perhaps Thanksgiving is your scheduled day based on the previously agreed-upon custody agreement. However, if your child looks forward to your ex-spouses family celebrations, consider adjusting your plans. Your child is likely to remember the sacrifices that you gave and appreciate them later.

Be Flexible

While Thanksgiving may be only one day, this doesn’t mean that you have to celebrate it on the actual day. Even if your child is scheduled to spend Thanksgiving with your ex-spouse, you can still celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day, either before or after they get back from their other parent’s home. Depending on how close you live to your ex-spouse, you may also be able to split the day with them. Plan a late-night Thanksgiving celebration after your child spends the day with the other side of their family.

Rely On Others

While it’s important to prioritize your child during this time, it’s also important to recognize your own challenges. Navigating a divorce is never easy, even if it was a mutual agreement. Recognize that you may be subject to unfamiliar feelings, especially if you don’t have your child for the day. Instead of spending Thanksgiving alone, turn to your family and friends for support. If you know of any other acquaintances that are divorced, consider planning something with them. If you don’t have anyone near you, you may be able to attend a divorce support group event.

Volunteer Your Time

If the idea of sitting at home alone on Thanksgiving leaves you filled with dread, consider volunteering. Many charitable organizations facilitate food kitchens or events for the homeless on holidays. Volunteering will keep you busy and make the day go by fast. You won’t even think about what you’re missing.

Need Divorce or Child Custody Assistance?

If you need help navigating child custody after a divorce, reach out to an experienced family law lawyer. A family law lawyer can help you and your spouse decide on a child custody agreement that works for everyone. It’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and wants, and negotiate them ahead of time, as changing a custody agreement, later on, can be difficult.

Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Custody in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. Family law attorney, Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. represents clients throughout the state, including Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Haddonfield, and Mt. Laurel. She understands how challenging this time can be for you, which is why she will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call her office at (856) 482-8799 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. She has an office conveniently located at 1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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    Lois Garber Schwartz

    1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202

    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


    Phone: 856-375-8989

    Fax: 856-482-0343