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With the holiday season quickly approaching, you need to start figuring out what gifts to purchase for your children. However, this may be hard to focus on if you are having trouble in paradise. Court proceedings tend to cast a grey cloud over what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. This is especially the case if it involves a divorce proceeding and child custody battle. While you may not be focusing on what to give your children this holiday season, perhaps it’s time that you start. Yes, they will appreciate that shiny new toy that all of their friends have, but what would they appreciate more than anything in this world – more than anything money can buy? That is, the cooperation and harmony of their mother and father.

Settle your divorce in an amicable way. Trust me, this will benefit your children. After all, they just want to see their parents get along. The negative emotions between parents can be difficult to disguise from children, and children may begin to internalize these emotions. To avoid the emotional strain that a high conflict divorce may cause on your children, it may be best to work together with your spouse towards reasonable solutions that are in the best interests of your children.

Speaking poorly of your spouse in the presence of your children, forcing your children to pick sides or alienating them from one parent will cause your children more emotional stress. When parents cannot manage to work together to protect their children’s interests, the children can struggle with depression, anxiety, future relational issues and a variety of other mental health issues. It takes a lot of effort and discipline to minimize the negative impact of these proceedings on the children. Focusing on the well-being of your children can yield great positive outcomes.

What you can do to lessen any negative effects is simple. You can be civil with your spouse, and do your best to support a healthy relationship between them and the kids. This can reassure them that they are still a priority in your life.

You can promote a shared understanding of boundaries and responsibilities through the formation of a separation agreement. This is a written contract in which you and your spouse can collaborate to sort out rights and responsibilities. For more information about how to create a binding and inclusive separation agreement, consult with a family lawyer or read more here.

Furthermore, the interests of your children may be better reflected if you and your spouse are able to work together and be amicable with one another.