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Should the subject of Santa come up in your custody talks?

If you’re like most divorcing parents then you probably know that during the divorce process, you will have to have the conversation about child custody. This can range from an easy discussion to a full-blown legal battle, lasting months or even years. Either way, you and your soon-to-be ex spouse will have to determine who will get custody of the child or children and to what extent that custody extends. Will you decide on joint custody or will one parent have primary and legal custody?

As some of our readers know, legal custody gives a parent the right to make long-term decisions about raising the child. This can include making decisions about where the child goes to school or even what religion they practice. But with Christmas just around the corner, we wondered if any of our readers here in Virginia had considered the subject of Santa Clause when it comes to legal custody.

While most adults cannot recall when they learned that Santa wasn’t real, others remember being told by their parents or siblings. For some this wasn’t a big deal. For others it was downright devastating, which is something that parents might want to consider when determining child custody arrangements. For a parent with primary and legal custody, the decision over whether to tell your child about the existence of Santa will fall on your shoulders legally. But talking to your children about this centuries-old myth could cause conflict between you and your ex-spouse, especially if they feel differently about the situation.

Because the divorce process can be in and of itself a stressful time, determining this early may not even register on some parents’ radar until weeks or even days before Christmas. It’s worth noting though that divorcing couples could run into potential conflicts that could result in potential legal issues down the road if they discuss things with their ex.

Source: Wonder Woman, "Let your child believe in Santa," Jane Gopalakrishnan, Dec. 2, 2013

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Leesburg, VA 20176

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