Five Tips for Co-Parenting This Holiday Season
With holidays right around the corner, it’s important to communicate what this year’s plans and parenting schedule will be with your ex-spouse. Co-parenting is easiest to navigate with proper communication, consistency, cooperation and planning. Below, the family law attorneys at Rodier Family law discuss five tips for successful co-parenting this holiday season.
Clearly Communicate with Your Ex-Spouse
Successful co-parenting requires calm, consistent and thorough communication. In order to prioritize your children’s wellbeing, try to set aside any differences between you and your ex-spouse during this time and focus on your children’s happiness. Be cordial and respectful; avoid using an aggressive tone and try your best to be respectful of your ex-partner’s opinions and ideas. You have the right to disagree with your ex-spouse, but in order to avoid unnecessary conflict, you need to communicate honestly and maturely.
If your children are old enough, allow them to weigh in on the conversation of where they can spend the holidays. Having your children’s opinion matter during this conversation may relieve any conflict caused between you and your ex-spouse. It also helps ensure your children are feeling heard and seen during this difficult time.
Although holiday plans may have already been established in your custody agreement, schedules can change and communication prior to carrying out your plans is important. Not all co-parenting partnerships are cordial, but planning ahead may help make the holidays more enjoyable for your children. Take time to go over your custody plan with your ex-spouse and your children well in advance; this will help reduce unneeded stress, anxiety and misunderstandings.
Equitably Divide Time
It’s ideal to divide time fairly during the season so that both parents have a fair and reasonable amount of time with their children throughout the holidays. If one parent will have the children on the actual holidays, plan for the other parent to have the children some of the days prior or the days following the holidays. This allows your children to enjoy two potential celebrations and be able to see both parents during the holiday festivities.
Coordinating gifts may not seem like a top priority in light of the circumstances, but you will want to set aside time to discuss budgets with your ex-spouse, as well as discuss potential gift ideas. If you and your ex-spouse know what your children want for Christmas, discuss with your ex-spouse who will be purchasing which presents. Having a holiday parenting strategy in place will help you avoid “gift competitiveness” and prevent giving duplicate gifts. Some families continue to share the costs of big-ticket items and gift them to the children from “Santa” or together as parents. Any degree of cooperation in holiday planning can go a long way for everyone’s happiness – as well as their budget!
Expect Heightened Emotions
If this is your first holiday season as a co-parent, both you, your ex-spouse and your children may experience heightened emotions and higher stress during this transitional time. Recognize and understand if your children are upset because one of their parents isn’t present during the holidays. Utilize this special time with your children to make new memories that are sentimental to your family. Remember that you and your family deserve to enjoy the holiday season despite the difficulties you are facing.
Speak to an Attorney About Your Child Custody Arrangements
At Rodier Family law, we know how tumultuous the holiday season can be for recent divorcees, especially if children are involved. Our experienced and professional divorce and separation attorneys offer child custody assistance to families in the Harford County area. We strive to offer sound and honest legal advice for families going through divorce, child custody issues, and other family law matters. Contact us today to learn more.
All content in this article is strictly informational in nature. The attorneys at Rodier Family Law recommend seeking professional counsel on your specific situation.