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The art of giving the children of divorce

As many California residents are all too familiar for a divorced couple when the holidays roll around, determining child custody and the art of giving to the kids can be difficult. Not only is it a challenge to come to an agreement on who has the children over the holidays, who picks them up and when other family parties are important enough to interrupt an already pre-determined child custody schedule, but it can also be troubling to even buy holiday gifts.

Specifically, children might struggle with transporting gifts from home to home. One ex-spouse purchased an Xbox for his children over the holidays. Then the challenge became packing up the device, cords and all the games to move from house to house per the custody schedule. The children eventually solved the problem by saving up enough to buy a second device, in order to have one in both homes.

Other difficulties include purchasing gifts for children that the other spouse might not approve of or enjoy. A spouse who has primary custody often stores a majority of gifts at his or her home. When this gift is a loud electronic piano or other potentially irritating device, the gift giver might bear the brunt of the frustration.

Often, parents also set rules where the gifts given can only be used at their home. This is often ill-advised behavior. Children can experience stress if a parent sets certain parameters on where a gift can be located at any given point in time.

While the holidays are a time for joy, family and friends, they can also be stressful. It is important to try to be considerate as possible to each other in order to make the holidays an enjoyable experience for the kids.

Source: The Republic, "Where do gifts live? Does your ex want a puppy? Gifting can be vexing for kids of divorce," Leanne Italie, Dec. 23, 2013

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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