A pressing concern for many recently divorced parents is how to handle visitation time during holidays. The obvious solution would be to divide the festivities equally between both parents, but this isn’t always realistic and it’s often tricky to map out a schedule that feels fair to all parties.
Not only that, parents often have to consider the wishes of grandparents, uncles, aunts and other relatives who want to spend time with the kids during the holidays, making things even more confusing. But fear not – this blog will help you make visitation schedules less dread-inducing and more agreeable for yourself and your children.
Talk it Out With Your Ex-Spouse
Send your ex-spouse a friendly message regarding your child’s holiday visitation schedule once you’ve reviewed the court order to make sure you’re both up-to-date and on the same page. It’s best to know about any potential concerns with visitation straight away to avoid an emergency trip to court later. If anything is unclear, your attorney can help review the paperwork at a low expense to assist you in this process.
Consider the Needs and Wishes of Your Children
Parents should think about the plans that their children have made or would like to engage in. Exes frequently get into power struggles over child visitation schedules without ever considering what the kids would actually like to do with their time off from school. Always prioritize your child’s feelings and wishes about how they’d like to spend their holiday time, as their needs should ultimately come first.
If you have older children, make a visitation schedule template, display it where they can see it and talk to them about where they’ll be each day to avoid surprises. The only surprises they should expect at this time of year are from Santa, not from erratic schedules and arguing parents.
Your ex mother-in-law has popped by during your scheduled hours to drop off a gift for your young ones. What should you do? If you ask us, let her. While sticking to the plan is necessary, so is nurturing your children’s relationships with both sides of their extended families.
Holidays are typically one of the only time of year when families travel long distances to be together, and it’s in your children’s best interests to form strong ties with their extended family if possible.
Make New Traditions
If remembering regular family customs makes you feel melancholic, think about some new traditions you create for the future. This is your chance to bust out all those holiday games and fun activities you’ve always wanted to try but never had a chance to. Get your kids involved and plan something new to do with them next year – you never know what you’ll learn together.
Get Help If You Need It
If you and your ex-spouse have problems deciding on child visitation hours for the holidays, you should speak with a family law expert, and it would be best if you didn’t wait until the week before the holidays! The sooner you seek help with creating a holiday itinerary, the better.
The Bottom Line
This Christmas season will most likely be challenging if you’ve recently gone through divorce, but with our tips for co-parenting over the holidays, you can make the festive season the best it can be. Plan ahead of time, talk with your ex-spouse, prepare your children, and remember to go with the flow.
Also remember to lean on your friends and family for support, and try to cherish the time you have with your kids above all else. Your attorney is there to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that there are no last-minute surprises. After all, the best holiday gift you can give your children is a calm and enjoyable time surrounded by family.
Divorce is challenging, but with Alexandra Geczi PLLC, you are not alone. Our team is here to help you discreetly navigate the process and protect your interests so that you can move forward into a bright, bold future. Call us at 972-838-1181 to chat about the process.