Having a Happy Thanksgiving After Divorce – Even Without Your Kids

This week we discussed how you can start new traditions with your kids when celebrating Thanksgiving after a divorce and child custody case. However, we also know that many newly separated or divorced parents will spend their first Thanksgiving without their children due to their parenting plan and visitation agreement. For many, it is the first time they have been away from their kids on this special day – and it will be emotionally difficult.

How can you still have a happy Thanksgiving even if your ex-spouse has the kids for the day?

  • Reach out to friends and family. You may be surprised how many people you know will open their arms (and their homes) to you on Thanksgiving – after all, it's what the holiday is about. Even if you aren’t sure if you will feel comfortable sharing your holiday with someone else, you may want to give it a try. You can always head home if you feel the need.
  • Keep in contact with your kids. Just because you can’t be with your children all day doesn’t mean you cannot have a few quality moments with them. Be sure to let your spouse know that you’d appreciate phone calls and updates – in this day and age, you can receive picture, videos, and text messages throughout the day.
  • Plan for the next holiday. In many families, the parent who has the children for Thanksgiving doesn’t have them for Christmas or Hanukah. With this in mind, it’s not too early to start planning and shopping – and looking ahead.
  • Consider celebrating Thanksgiving on a different day. There’s no reason your kids can’t have two Thanksgivings. Some families choose to celebrate twice so that no one feels left out.


Remember: just as no two families look the same, no two Thanksgivings need to look the same either. As long as you embrace the thankful spirit of the holiday, you are keeping the only important tradition.

Do you need legal assistance with your Washington divorce or child custody case? Call Seattle family law attorney Molly Kenny today for help: 425-460-0550.

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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
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