Child custody can be extra tough to deal with during the holidays. It is meant to be a joyful, celebratory time. But with families dealing with an upcoming or recent divorce, stress levels can be very high in working out the arrangements of parties, time spent with each parent, and even with gift-giving issues. Having a guide to get through the holidays can help parents and children — reducing arguments and anxiety and enhancing the joyful moments that make lasting memories.
How to get through the holidays after a divorce
Here are five child custody tips to help you navigate the holiday season:
1. Don’t delay in making plans
It can be easy to procrastinate if you feel a battle is coming. But the closer it gets to major holidays, the harder it will be if the two parents have different ideas of what is going to happen. Be proactive and know ahead of time there is more than likely going to be some necessary compromises.
2. Be clear on legal arrangements
If you have a legal arrangement of child custody for the holidays, make sure you are clear about the parameters. Families who have been through a divorce, particularly a recent one, can still be very emotional and may not remember exactly what they legally agreed upon when the papers were signed. Information is power and can stop unnecessary arguments in their tracks.
3. Share the day
When geography permits, give your kids two celebrations on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or other big holidays important to you and your family. It can take quite a bit of coordination, but it can also be a lovely solution for both the parents and the children when it comes to child custody.
4. Be mindful of travel time
Depending on how far away the two parents live from one another, it can be pretty tricky with scheduling. Consider potential traffic or weather delays. These have the ability to play a big role when it comes to transportation and arriving on time for parties, meals, or other holiday events. Preparation is central to having each parent get the agreed upon time with children during the holidays.
5. Communicate about gift-giving
Another important child custody tip is in the area of gift-giving. Do you feel strongly about spending limits or amount of gifts? How about the types of gifts like age-appropriate video games? If parents communicate ahead of time about gift giving, you can possibly prevent some heated arguments. You may even be able to come together to buy a more expensive gift that you cannot afford on your own.
6. Work on creating happy memories year round
When it comes down to it, child custody is all about the best interests of the child. This is not only true for holidays but it is important all year long. Consider your child’s opinion about how she or he wants to spend the holiday. Be flexible if at all possible to make the holidays the best for everyone.
Enjoy the holidays
These child custody tips can help families navigate the holidays better, reduce stress, and foster happy memories. That is what the holidays are truly about.
Dean Tsourakis is a highly-experienced and dedicated family law & criminal defense attorney and knows the complex nature of child custody. If you need help with a divorce, child custody, or any other family law issue, he’s here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Other child custody articles:on Dec 10, 2018