After a divorce, children often face many changes and must learn to adapt to spending time separately with each parent. If you’re new to co-parenting, you may be worried about how your kids will deal with splitting the holidays between both parents’ homes. With a solid custody plan in place, and communication between yourself and your ex, you can make the effort to help your kids adjust and provide them with the love and support they need during the holidays.
Talk with your ex about expectations
If you have a cordial relationship with your ex, it’s beneficial for you to communicate about holiday plans. This may include talking about gifts and discussing who will be giving big-ticket items to the kids. You probably already have a holiday schedule in your custody agreement, but sometimes events or family gatherings come up at the last minute. If it’s agreeable to both of you, making slight changes to accommodate those events is acceptable.
It’s important for kids to be able to keep some holiday traditions from year to year. But after a divorce, you can make new traditions. Get creative and come up with some holiday activities that your kids will look forward to year after year. These activities don’t have to happen on a specific date, which works out well if you alternate holidays or rearrange schedules to accommodate family gatherings.
If your marriage ended on a negative note, you probably worry about dealing with drama during the holidays. This time of year can already be stressful, so it’s important to avoid drama whenever possible. If you don’t communicate well with your ex, it’s probably best to stick with texting and avoid contacting each other when you’re upset.
Stick with your custody agreement and avoid making changes, which can lead to disputes. If you alternate holidays from one year to the next, it can be a nice gesture to allow your kids to call the other parent on that day. It provides them with comfort and shows that you’re both trying to create a stable environment for them no matter which parent they’re with.
Seek legal advice for questions about custody
Even with a thorough custody agreement, co-parenting is difficult. Custody schedules can create tension in an already strained relationship, so it’s important to deal with issues quickly to prevent drama down the road. If you have a question about custody, or you wish to get more information about altering your agreement, you can consult an attorney so that you understand your rights and know what options you have.