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Handling a divorce during the holidays

Parents that are separated can often struggle during the holiday months, as the strains of a divorce can take their toll on children and the extended family for both of the former spouses.

The Huffington Post reported that a lack of empathy during this period can have a disastrous effect on children who are caught in the middle of a struggle. Parents should keep in mind that their kids didn’t create the situation.

Although disagreements may still occur between the former couple, it is imperative that they are able to hold these discussions away from the extended family and children during the holiday months. If there is still tension that exists, situations with both sides of a family should be avoided.

According to the news source, parents should switch off holidays or take turns each year in celebrating with their children and the extended family. This can allow for drama-free time that can help kids feel stable.

With the divorce rate at close to 50 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, couples need to realize that these problems are not only theirs, and with a certain level of understanding, they will be able to get through the holidays.

Tips for surviving a divorce

The process of divorce is hard on both spouses, with each individual trying to maintain a level of sanity and composure when dealing with the separation from their ex-wife or husband.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the marriage rate in the U.S. is currently 6.8 per 1,000 total population, and thedivorce rate is 3.4 per 1,000 total population.

The Western Mail reported that couples should realize that both individuals are not going to move through the process at the same speed. One spouse may take the split in a much different way than the other, and this necessitates a level of understanding.

Children can also get involved in the process, and the former couple needs to maintain a certain level of civility in order to prevent damage to their notion of relationships and love. Limiting verbal discourse against the other spouse is a way that parents can help their kids adjust to the split while still retaining a positive image of their mother and father, according to the news source.

Helping children cope with divorce

A divorce can have a significant impact on all involved parties, as the former husband and wife are not the only ones who can be affected by this split. Children can suffer as a result of the termination of marriage for their parents.

According to an article submitted to the Abilene Reporter News, children can often get caught in the middle of a divorce and may be affected by the breakdown of their parent’s relationship.

The news source reported that parents need to maintain civility in dealing with each other after a split, regardless of their new feelings, as a way of keeping children in a mentally stable state.

“Divorce is a loss for a child, much like a death is,” Aimee Colley, director of Club Courage, told the news source. “I would say the top indicator for telling if children will adjust is parental adjustment.”

Club Courage is an affiliate of Hendrick Hospice Care and provides children with a support group when dealing with the process in order to help them share their experience with kids in the same situation, according to the organization’s website.

Romanian father seeks custody of cigarette-smoking baby

Shocking pictures of a two-year-old baby girl smoking a cigarette were recently seized by Romanian police as part of an investigation into the child’s mother’s conduct, according to the Austrian Times.

Elena Ursu, the young mother of the child, has been charged with child cruelty, after she uploaded a video of her child smoking and drinking coffee onto the internet. This action was met by the fury of her father, who lost custody of the girl in a long court battle, the news source reported.

Judges have temporarily awarded custody to the child’s father Gabriel, as local police are investigating the conduct and care that has been provided by the mother, according to the Times.

“I am very relieved. When I was allowed to visit her she was so desperate for a cigarette that she grabbed stubbed out butts and put them in her mouth. It was sick,” Gabriel told the news source. “Her mother was using the child to make me suffer. It was beyond cruelty.”

According to Independent Online, the video also shows the mother verbally encouraging the child to inhale the cigarettes and drink the coffee.

Irish court dismisses fathers appeal to return children to US

Two boys, now aged seven and nine, were wrongfully removed from New York and taken to Ireland with their mother. Despite protests from their father over the development, the Supreme Court in the Emerald Isle ruled that the children would stay there, according to the Irish Times.

Though the children were both under the age of 10, the court took their opinions of where they wanted to live into consideration in the ruling.

“There is a growing understanding of the importance of listening to a child,” Chief Justice Susan Denham said in the ruling.

The court claimed that the ages of seven and nine were old enough for an individual to have attained a great enough level of maturity, a claim that was denied by the father of the children, according to the Times.

The Irish Examiner reported that the mother had left the U.S. and missed three scheduled court dates. This development led to the father being awarded custody in November 2010, but didn’t convince the Irish court that the children should be allowed to return to New York.