Right now, we are in the thick of the holiday season. For divorced families or families going through divorces, juggling holiday schedules can be quite overwhelming and emotional. They have to decide which parent gets to spend which holiday with the children, often leaving the other parent without his or her kids during the holiday and with a huge void in his or her heart.

Is there a way around alternating holidays with your ex? The short answer is yes! In Arizona, parties have flexibility in how they structure their parenting time schedules. They can spend as much or as little time co-parenting as they want. Even if there is a court-ordered parenting time schedule in place, if both parties consent, they can make changes to the schedule that are in the best interest of their children. So, for example, if 2015 is Mom’s year to be with the kids for Christmas per the court-ordered parenting time schedule, Dad can crash the fun if Mom is on board with that game plan. The kids would likely cherish the special time with both of their parents. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey provide a great example of how co-parenting during the holiday season could work.

Enjoy your holiday season with your loved ones!

Many of us have experienced the dark side of divorce either personally or by witnessing a family member or friend’s experience (or, in my case, practicing law as a family law attorney). We have seen the fights over assets, spousal support, and children. We may wonder how two people who loved one another so much could get involved in such a nasty legal proceeding.

A Canadian couple who announced their divorce on Facebook has shown the world that, though sad, divorce does not have to be nasty. Their civil approach to divorce is quite possible, even in the messiest of divorce cases. If you find yourself wondering if this is possible for you, the answer is yes, you can have a civil and amicable divorce. Here’s how:

1. Remember that the end of your marriage does not mean the end of your life as you know it. Life can, and does, go on. Remind yourself that you are an individual capable of loving and being loved even after your marriage ends. Maintaining a positive attitude will help you to endure the divorce process better than having a negative attitude will.

2. If you have children, it is imperative that you refrain from speaking to them about your divorce case. You must also refrain from speaking to your children negatively about their other parent. Not only could doing so damage your children, even if your spouse is in the wrong, but doing so could also damage your legal position. Your spouse could use your negative communications about him or her in court.

3. Be civil with your spouse. I know this is easier said than done. You will not help yourself by allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Keep your communications with your spouse limited to what is necessary. If your spouse becomes combative towards you, be the bigger person and ignore their offensive communications.

As painful as the divorce process is, it is a temporary, finite process. Going through a divorce does not mean that you are a bad person, nor does it mean that you are a failure. Do yourself a favor by being mature and civil during your divorce proceeding. Your dignity and sanity will thank you.

Do you have any tips on doing divorce the right way? Feel free to comment below.