For many New York residents, the holidays symbolize family time, festive celebrations and annual traditions. For divorced parents, however, the holidays can be a source of anxiety, stress and sadness. Rather than waiting until the last minute, holiday custody schedules should be discussed and decided far in advance so everyone is on the same page and there is less conflict overall.

WebMD says the most important thing to consider is what is best for the children. This means avoiding conflict at all costs, which usually means spending each holiday separate from the ex. If at all possible, the kids should be involved in the decision-making process so they feel like they have some control and can share what are some of their important activities and traditions. One key to successfully planning the holidays is to step back from previous traditions and be open to making new ones with your children.

According to the Huffington Post, flexibility is also important. Take into consideration how close you live to your ex-spouse and if either of you would like to travel over the holidays. This may determine whether you switch off holidays each year or if it is possible for the kids to split time in between both homes for each holiday.

Rather than be upset about how holiday time and traditions are changing, parents are encouraged to look towards the future and consider what benefits this new arrangement may bring. This may include spending time with a new spouse or the ability to travel more.