Holidays are supposed to be joyous times, but family law issues can sour any plans, especially when it comes to post-divorce co-parenting issues.
If you have just been through a divorce and desire to avoid or handle some of the common parenting issues families face after a divorce, try some or all of these six easy tips to save the holidays.
Effective communication is clear, direct, and on time. When planning for the holidays, co-parents need to communicate most aspects of their plans and wishes for the holidays with each other as well as the children involved.
Waiting too long or leaving vital information out of these communications can lead to disappointment and fighting during the holidays.
Management of Expectations
Parents must manage their expectations of what a post-divorce holiday might look like. Although parents may be used to having their children with them throughout the holidays, it is usually no longer a valid expectation after a divorce.
Parents must also manage the expectations of their children to prevent them from getting their hopes up for occurrences that may not happen.
Give and Take
A little give and take can go a long way during the holidays, especially if both co-parents do a little bit of both. Although parenting plans and time schedules may be in place, giving the other parent a little leeway on hours or days with a child might be all that is needed to smooth out a problem.
Put the Children First
Co-parents should put their children’s needs first during the holidays. This means refraining from bad-talking the other parent or venting their frustrations with the divorce in front of the kids. Instead, by staying positive, the children will feel freer to enjoy themselves despite the recent divorce and change in typical holiday experiences.
Let the County Help Out
In the best of worlds, co-parents come to an agreement on how the holidays should work before the holidays arrive. However, some parents simply cannot agree on enough points to make the situation work amicably.
When this is the case, the parents have the choice of defaulting to their county’s particular holiday addendum to court parenting guidelines. Within each addendum are suggested co-parenting schedules for holidays throughout the year that parents may find suitable for their needs.
Take Care of Yourself
The children always come first. However, this does not mean you should neglect your well-being. Parents need to ensure they are looking after their own wants and needs to be effective mothers and fathers.
During your advance planning for the holidays, consider scheduling time for yourself in the itinerary. Even a short period of personal time each day can keep you feeling happy and healthy.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Provide Relevant and Effective Guidance
Even the most complicated holiday co-parenting issues can be avoided or resolved with a little planning and guidance from a professional who cares. Reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer for help making it through the holiday season without a co-parenting hitch.