Co-parenting over the holidays doesn’t have to be a time of conflict, although far too often it becomes that way. Divorced parents can learn to communicate effectively to assure the children have happy holiday memories.
Holiday visitation and custody schedules are frequently a bone of contention for divorced spouses. One way to avoid this is to clearly delineate the holiday schedule in the custody judgment that is in effect.
Below are some considerations to keep in mind when designing your holiday custody arrangements.
Decide which holidays have the most significance for each parent. Mom’s family might make a huge deal out of Thanksgiving celebrations with relatives flying in from all over, while Christmas is a more muted affair celebrated quietly at home.
Dad, on the other hand, may have always relished taking the kids on a trek through the woods at a tree farm, finding the best holiday tree, cutting it down and decorating it with much fun and fanfare. Perhaps it’s a Christmas tradition to head over to an extended family member’s home for the gift exchange and supper.
It makes the most sense to respect each parent’s special traditions and holiday rituals whenever possible. These are the moments that create fond childhood memories, and all parental decisions should be made with the kids’ best interests in mind.
Not all divorced parents will be able to settle matters so neatly, which is why it’s very important that your family law attorney includes specifics about the holiday custody arrangements in the judgment. This can sidestep much conflict and drama for all concerned.
Source: Our Family Wizard, “Reduce Stress During the Holidays with Holiday Custody Arrangements and Visitation Schedules,” accessed Dec. 02, 2016