Co-Parenting During the Holidays

Co-Parenting During the Holidays

Tips to Reduce the Stress of Co-Parenting During the Holidays

While the holidays may be the happiest time of the year, they can also be stressful and challenging times. Below, we will outline a few tips concerning how to eliminate some of the holiday-based co-parenting stress.

Make a Detailed Holiday Co-Parenting Plan

When you submit your petition for child custody, you should also include a holiday schedule that outlines how parenting time will be divided during the holidays, including but not limited to New Year’s, summer vacation, and other school breaks. Commonly, parents may have disagreements over the holidays concerning pick-ups and drop-offs as well as whether the custodial parent plans to take their child on a trip. In your agreement, you can be very detailed and include terms about holiday trips, exchange times and locations, and other terms.

During the holidays, you can review the agreement to better prepare yourself and ensure you adhere to the agreement. Please be advised that withholding parenting time is a serious offense, and withholding visitation is another common holiday-related co-parenting challenge.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start New Traditions

Facing the holidays after divorce or separation can be daunting, especially if you had family holiday traditions. To reduce the stress of co-parenting during the holidays, you can modify your old traditions or even start new ones. You and your co-parent can discuss which traditions you plan to do as you can coordinate with one another.

Avoid Guilting Your Children

If you will not have physical custody during a holiday, you should avoid making your child guilty for their time with the other parent. They are likely already disappointed that they cannot spend time with you both and can benefit from you encouraging them to have fun with their other parent. To show them that you want them to have a good time, you can ask what they’re looking forward to and help them make or buy a holiday present for your co-parent.

Acknowledge that The Holidays Will Be Different

If you spent previous holidays as a family, the holidays can look very different, which you should prepare yourself for. You should also acknowledge and work past bad feelings about the holidays.

Take Time to Prepare Your Children

Telling your children what they can expect can help reduce their stress as well as your own. Share details about your plans for the holidays, which parent they will spend the holiday with, and any other important details they should know.

Coordinate Gifts with One Another

Disputes can arise if parents buy the same gift or if either party feels like the other party is trying to buy their children’s affection. Discussing a budget limit and the gifts you plan to buy can help you avoid more stress this holiday season.

Properly Plan Introductions of New Friends

When you start dating after divorce is entirely up to you, however, you should be mindful of when and how you introduce new partners to your children. The holidays may not be the best time to introduce a new partner, especially if this is your first holiday season post-divorce; your kids may still be getting used to what post-divorce life looks like for your family.

As you know your child best, you may consider bringing a new partner around during the holidays. Before introducing a new partner, you should also consider talking with your co-parent. You may have already outlined terms concerning new partners in your custody agreement, but it can be a good idea to still warn them and tell them that you plan to adhere to what you agreed upon.

Practice Self-Care & Self-Love

The holidays can be a rough time, even if you don’t have co-parenting worries to manage. Be sure to take time for yourself to relax, recharge, and rest.

Have questions or concerns involving your child custody case or agreement? Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC today for help with your initial filing, modifications, etc. Call (866) 580-3089.