The holiday season can be stressful for anyone, but even more so for separated or divorced parents who share custody of their children. However, it does not need to be this way. Careful planning and a little cooperation will make things go more smoothly for everyone. Listed below are important co-parenting tips for the holiday season.
Have Open Communication
Every relationship is different, and your ex-spouse might not be open to this kind of discussion. Reach out well in advance to ask if they are willing to discuss how the holidays can be celebrated fairly, with the children being able to enjoy time with each parent and their respective families. Set aside a time, and prepare some options. Be prepared to be flexible since you may have to give up some holidays in exchange for others.
Follow Your Court Order
If you have a court-ordered child custody arrangement, you should be familiar with its provisions. Holiday time might need to be changed, and you may need court permission.
If it shows that you must notarize any requests or consent to changes in emails, follow the instructions. Read the agreement carefully, and contact an attorney if there are any questions or want to change the parenting plan.
Put Your Children’s Best Interests First
The goal is to put your children’s best interests first. Try to be creative and come up with ideas that can become new holiday traditions. Be sure to ask your children for their input, and let them know what to expect once the decisions have been made.
Celebrate the Holidays Together
Some divorced parents celebrate together with their children, although this is not always possible. Another option is to have two separate events on the same day, but this only works if the parents live close to one another. Otherwise, trading off holidays may be beneficial; when parents live too far for this, they might be able to swap out one holiday for another.
Plan Gifts in Advance
As for gifts, it is wise to figure out these details in advance as well. Both parents can contribute to large gifts, a wise move that can also save money. Trying to outdo each other can lead to conflicts, so avoid doing this.
If money is an issue, remember that handmade gifts like knitted scarves or tins of cookies can be much appreciated. Event-centered gifts like an afternoon of ice skating or sledding are also ways you can show that you care.
Use Co-Parenting Apps
If your ex-spouse is uncooperative about holiday co-parenting plans, you can try using a co-parenting calendar or app. Should neither solve the problem, a mediator or lawyer might be able to help. In many cases, divorced parents turn to their lawyers when they cannot resolve their co-parenting issues on their own.
Bel Air Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Will Put Your Children’s Best Interests First This Holiday Season
The holidays can be challenging for co-parents. If you need to make modifications to a parenting plan or need legal help with a court-ordered custody agreement, speak with one of our experienced Bel Air child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 443-589-0150. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.