The holidays tend to be a time of increased stress for many. However, during a divorce, the pressure of the holidays can take on a whole new meaning. It’s no longer about what you’ll be cooking or who you need to buy gifts for but if and when you’ll get to see the kids.
While divorce brings about significant change to family dynamics, parenting plans and custody arrangements can be made far in advance, so you and your spouse know what to expect.
Many custody agreements include special occasions such as holidays. However, if this was overlooked during your divorce proceedings, you may need to sort this out with your ex, which, let’s face it, can be uncomfortable at best.
Holidays are Missing from my Parenting Plan
As a parent, it’s natural to want to spend the holidays with the kids. So what do you do when your time with them is shared but you don’t have a plan in place?
A good place to start is communicating with your ex. Reach out to them via text, email, or phone call to let them know in advance this is something you’d like to discuss. If you’re not on good terms with your ex, enlist the help of a trusted third party to advocate for you.
In some cases, a co-parent may be willing to swap their parenting time with you. Other cases may require court intervention to modify your existing parenting agreement to spell out terms for the holidays.
This can be done by petitioning the court for a post-judgment modification. Alterations can be made to the agreement as long as a change in circumstance warrants parenting time adjustments.
Plan for Future Holiday Visitation
When updating a parent’s schedule, be sure to include provisions for holidays. For example, do you want to alternate years? Address circumstances like what happens if it’s one parent’s turn but the holiday falls on a date that’s not in that parent’s rotation.
Creating very clear and specific guidelines can help prevent added stress this time of year.
There may be times when even the most thorough plans may need to be altered. Circumstances change, and while you may not be on great terms with your ex, collaborating might be in the child’s best interest.
For example, it may be your year to have the kids, but your ex has family members in town and wants the kids to be there instead. A little give and take can go a long way when co-parenting.
The holidays are the perfect opportunity to improve your communication with your ex. This will benefit both you and your child in the long run.
Contact our office today if you’re considering divorce or need to modify a current custody arrangement. Our highly skilled attorneys are well-versed in family law, and we’re happy to help during the holidays and beyond.