Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season this Thursday. While a typically joyous time of year filled with friends and family, the holidays can pose additional challenges to divorced couples who share custody of their children. Trying to balance commitments and divide the children’s time evenly between each side of their family can be difficult, but with a little extra work, it can be made easier.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Conflicts
Communication is key to successful co-parenting, and this rings especially true during the holiday season. Custody agreements usually include stipulations addressing holiday schedules, but it is important to review your agreement prior to setting any plans in stone.
A common holiday co-parenting strategy is to create a shared Google calendar with your ex-spouse, or utilize the schedule features on a co-parenting app, to make coordinating your children’s schedules a breeze. By putting your child’s schedule in writing, you can account for any changes or potential conflicts before they become an issue.
Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise
Family gatherings, parties, and extracurricular activities and events are a major component of the holiday season. Being willing and able to go with the flow and readjust schedules will make co-parenting during this time of year much easier. Instead of refusing to allow your children to attend a party with their mother’s family during your parenting time, let them go. Not doing so will cause tension, which your children will pick up on. The favor not only keeps with the spirit of the holiday season, but it is likely your ex will remember your act of good will and doing something nice for you in return.
Create New Traditions
Divorce changes the family dynamic, and children are often shuffled between two households. Because of this, keeping holiday traditions alive and going strong can be hard. A great way combat any feelings of loss your children may have during the holiday season is to create new traditions. Go ice skating, have a snowman building contest, or just simply sip hot chocolate while watching your favorite seasonal movie.
Your children will carry the memories and holiday traditions of their childhood with them throughout their adult life. The small moments with you are what they will cherish most, so make the best of a tough situation and use divorce as an opportunity create lasting impressions.
Keep Old Traditions Alive
In an ideal world, all divorced couples would be able to get along and co-parent amicably. However, any experienced family law attorney knows that it is not the case. But, if you and your spouse have been able to remain friends, then it is perfectly acceptable to keep some of your old holiday traditions alive. Whether it is picking out a Christmas tree, lighting a menorah, or attending a performance by the Rockettes, your children can benefit by having the same happy experiences that they are already use to.
In order for this to work, you and your ex need have excellent co-parenting skills. This may take some time, especially if your divorce wounds are fresh, but it is a great goal to have. Accomplishing this level of co-parenting can be tough, but it is not impossible. Just keep at it!
The Team You Can Trust
The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is comprised of a team of knowledgeable divorce attorneys who have represented clients throughout New York City. From high net worth divorces to simple child custody matters, the attorneys have a wide range of experience that allows them seamlessly tackle a variety of family law cases. For more information, or to schedule a free and confidential consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!