If you have children, a divorce can make the holidays extremely difficult, especially when it comes to creating a schedule that works for everyone. Unfortunately, fighting over holiday schedules can pass the stress on to your children. When that happens, it's your children who are caught in the middle. To make sure that your kids don't suffer from holiday schedule stress, here are three simple steps you and your spouse can take to create a holiday schedule that will work well for everyone.

Schedule Several Years in Advance

It can be difficult to sit down and work out holiday schedules year-after-year. Instead of dealing with the issue each year, sit down and create several years' worth of holiday schedules at one time. This schedule should include each major holiday, as well as any minor holidays that are important to you, including 4th of July and Memorial Day. This will ensure that plans can be set in stone well in advance. If you're unsure about how to divide the holidays effectively, here are a couple of options.

Alternating Years

With alternating years, each parent will have one full year of holiday visits, every other year.

Alternating Holidays

With alternating holidays, each parent will have every other holiday with the child throughout the year.

Split Schedule

With a split schedule, each parent will have half of each holiday throughout the year, with the day being split in half.

Create Special Videos

Even if you're able to work out a holiday schedule that works well for everyone, there are still family members who won't be spending those holidays together. Those holiday separations can be stressful for the children. Before your kids take off for the holidays with the other parent, take the time to prepare a video presentation. Videos allow your children to spend a few moments with you, even when you can't be there.

Work with a Mediator

If you and your ex can't reach an amicable agreement about holiday visits, it might be time to sit down with a family law mediator. Mediators can help facilitate effective communication between you and your ex, which can help expedite the creation of a holiday schedule that you can both agree on.

Now that it's time to split the holidays, there are steps you can take to make the process easier on your kids. Use the steps provided above to create a holiday schedule that will ensure that your kids are able to spend time with both parents. If you continue to have difficulty creating a schedule that you and your ex can agree on, be sure to speak to a family law attorney at a law firm like Nelson, McPherson Summers & Santos LC