The winter holiday season is a time to celebrate with family, friends and other loved ones. But if you’re divorced, it’s also a time to create a co-parenting and visitation schedule that works for you, your ex and your children.
There is no surefire way to prevent winter holiday disputes with your ex, but there are some basic tips you can follow to hedge off trouble before it bogs you down during what’s supposed to be the best time of the year.
Here’s what you should do:
- Talk it out in advance: For example, don’t wait until Christmas Eve to decide where your children will spend the next couple of days. The sooner you get a plan in place, the easier it is to schedule your holiday season around it.
- Read your parenting agreement: Depending on the type of agreement you created during your divorce, it may include some language about where your children will spend the holidays. For example, it may state that your children will spend Thanksgiving with you on even numbered years and your ex on odd numbered years. This is the type of guidance you’re looking for.
- Split the date: It can present some challenges, but consider if there’s a way for you and your ex to both spend time with your children on holidays. A common arrangement is one parent opening gifts with your children in the morning, and the other spending the afternoon and evening hours with them.
- Get everyone together: It sounds like a challenge on the surface, but it may be possible for you and your ex to spend time together with your children. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute of the holidays with them. But if you can do this even for a couple of hours, without arguing, it’s sure to make your children happy.
No matter how you decide to work things out, make sure you do so by putting your children first. It’s critical that they feel loved and wanted at all times, especially during the holidays.
If your ex doesn’t feel the same way, consider your legal options, such as requesting a parenting plan and visitation modification from the court that issued the original order.