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In a Season of Change, Embrace It

I don't think it will be news to anyone that holidays can be extremely stressful. Add a recent divorce to the mix and you have the possibility of increasing the stress many fold. When couples first get married they often go through a difficult time trying to negotiate how to celebrate holidays. Each member in the partnership comes from his or her own family background and traditions for how to celebrate. This can be even more complicated if the individual members in a couple are from different cultural or religious backgrounds. Figuring out how to satisfy not only their needs and desires but also those of their extended family members can be quite daunting at times.

Through the marriage, partners in a couple have often made close ties with their former spouse's family and friends. Divorce often means a disruption in those relationships. Realizing that ending a marriage often means ending or drastically changing many other relationships can be extremely painful. When children are involved the situation can become even more complicated. Where it may have been difficult when you first got married trying to determine how to divide your time between each of your families, this issue can become not only more complicated but more painful when it comes to dividing how you spend your time with your own children.

As with most situations related to divorce, there is no simple solution to address these concerns. Acknowledging what you have lost and the pain you are feeling is an important part of the healing process. Most change involves both negative and positive aspects. As you go through the divorce process it will be important to acknowledge the negative while embracing and building on the positive. Restoring old traditions and creating new ones can be key to not only surviving the holidays following a divorce, but also enjoying them.

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The Pennsylvania court may decide to order both spouses to attend an orientation for mediation or counseling. Mediation may resolve issues outside of court. The court tells the parties what issues need to be addressed in the sessions (for example, child custody, child support or division of property). The court cannot order mediation if there have been any allegations of domestic violence or child abuse within the past two years.
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