Divorce can be hard for a family to endure, especially when children are involved. If you and your spouse recently split, you might be wondering how the two of you will be able to navigate this holiday season with your children in the most effective and least stressful way possible. After all, the holidays are already often hectic and frustrating enough and divorce undoubtedly brings additional complications into the situation.
To ensure your holiday season goes smoothly this year, read our list of helpful tips on how to co-parent during the holidays after divorce:
Prioritize your children: Try to use your children’s experience as a starting point to help guide your decisions. If you are thinking of squeezing in five different family celebrations in a day to make sure everyone has a chance to spend time with the kids, you might want to rethink that decision and consider what that experience might feel like from the point of view of your children. With so many transitions throughout the day, your children might feel exhausted and unable to have any time to enjoy making any meaningful connections with family members. You want to help them create memories rather than chaos, so keep that in mind.
Plan ahead: In many cases, parents already have a plan in place that spell out how the holidays are to be spent. If you do not, however, now is the time to sit down with your co-parent and discuss how special events and celebrations are to be divided. What sort of traditions do you want value and want to see carried on with your children and which are you willing to let go of? Make sure you have this all hashed out in advance to minimize arguments when you find yourself in the midst of the holiday season.
Be flexible: Planning is important, but so is flexibility, so make sure you are open to changes when unexpected events or emergencies occur. The fact is that planning cannot realistically plan for every variable, so adjustments will likely need to be made. If you have the kids on a night when your ex-spouse wants to see them, and you do not have anything special planned, consider swapping nights. Goodwill gestures like this will foster a more cooperative co-parenting relationship that will help both of you in the long run.
Coordinate gifts: Excess is common during the holiday season, so to avoid getting carried away with Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, you should coordinate with your co-parent and discuss what you want for your children. Agree on a budget, how many gifts they should receive, and whether or not any gifts are off-limits or inappropriate for their age. Make sure you extend these rules to their grand parents and other family members who plan on purchasing gifts for them. With a little coordination, you can both avoid falling into the trap of trying to outdo one another.
Take care of yourself: This might seem like a co-parenting tip, but taking care of yourself is actually pretty crucial when it comes to caring for your family during the holidays. It can be easily to feel like you are drowning in holiday activities, parties, and managing a schedule, so remember to also take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat healthy, and enjoy downtime whenever you can. The better you care for yourself, the better you will be able to care for your children.
Child Custody Attorneys in Cary, NC
If you and your former spouse are currently dealing with child custody issues, you will need an attorney on your side to help you navigate them effectively, so you can achieve the outcome you desire. At Montgomery Family Law in North Carolina, our team of family law attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to protect your interests and provide the legal guidance you need during this difficult time.
Get started on your child custody case today and reach out to our law firm at (919) 348-2317 to schedule a case review and discuss your options with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.