Religion, the holidays, and divorce: a complex relationship

One aspect of divorce and child custody that often flies under the radar is religion and the role it plays in a divorced couple's holiday season. Take the story provided in our source article as an example. A Jewish woman has been divorced from her Christian husband for many years, and feels the pain of not seeing her children on Christmas every year. Even though Hanukkah is the holiday she more closely associates with, she grew to love the family-gathering aspects of Christmas as well.

Now that she and her husband have split, she doesn't get to share those family-sharing moments around Christmas anymore. Here we see the complicated relationship that religion and divorce has.

Specific to child custody issues, religion and divorce can create a volatile and uncooperative atmosphere between two splitting spouses. That makes it hard to negotiate key aspects in your child custody agreement, such as who gets the kids during which holidays, and why.

So, there is one crucial thing to remember in this regard: Even though you and your ex may not see eye-to-eye on religious matters (and even though that may spur on or spark further animosity in other areas, given that you are divorced), it is important for you to respect where they are coming from when it comes to child custody. You may not agree with their stance or ideas; but openly criticizing them or becoming angry will only make things worse. Collaborate and find a solution, for the sake of each other and your kids.

Source: Huffington Post, "He Got Christmas," Margaret Klaw, Dec. 9, 2013