You want to spend quality time with your kids during the holidays. However, you must co-parent with your former spouse. That means your children will split time between you and their other parent. Disagreements can arise over schedules, causing stress and frustration for everyone involved.
Below are five tips you can follow to co-parent effectively with your ex during the holiday season.
Prioritize Your Child’s Needs
Although you and your ex might not get along, your kids should be the main priority while co-parenting. Divorce is challenging, but your feelings about your former spouse shouldn’t matter when it comes to your children.
Coparenting should be about meeting your kid’s needs no matter what. That means you must set aside your differences and create a plan for your child to spend quality time with both parents.
Plan Ahead with the Other Parent
You and your ex must be on the same page regarding a holiday schedule. Discuss plans in advance, so there’s no confusion later. When the holidays begin, you might be too busy to communicate with each other, so making a schedule now can prevent issues in the future.
A co-parenting plan doesn’t have to follow specific guidelines. You can create a plan that makes sense for everyone. You might decide to alternate each holiday or swap holidays every year. Regardless of the schedule you come up with, both of you should get to enjoy the holidays with your children.
Change the Schedule When Necessary
Sometimes, sticking to a set schedule is impossible. Issues can arise that require changing the co-parenting plan. When you encounter unforeseen circumstances that require changes to the original schedule, you must be flexible for your kids’ sake.
You kids deserve quality time with each parent around the holidays. If something comes up that prevents following the schedule, allow for changes. You might have to swap time with your ex or make a new plan to accommodate a change in a work schedule or flight itinerary.
Consider Counseling or Mediation to Resolve Issues
Resolving the problems you have with your ex might not be possible without help. You should consider counseling or mediation if negotiating a holiday co-parenting schedule doesn’t work.
An unbiased third party can step in to facilitate productive conversations and offer potential solutions to your conflicts.
Avoiding taking the matter to court is crucial. You can avoid a tumultuous return to court to modify the holiday schedule if you set aside your differences and find a way to work together to negotiate co-parenting terms that work for everyone.
Begin a New Holiday Tradition
Family traditions are often passed down from one generation to the next. Many people take pride in teaching their children the traditions they once had with their parents.
Divorce can change everything. Even if you and your ex are on good terms, continuing certain traditions might be unrealistic. However, you can start a new tradition with your kids. Allow them to decide what the new traditions will be so they feel part of the decision-making process. It gives them something to look forward to and might make the holidays without the whole family together easier.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
At Invictus Law, we understand the challenges of co-parenting during the holiday season. Determining a schedule that follows the court-approved custody arrangements and also makes sure the kids get quality time with both parents can create tension between you and your ex. You can count on our legal team to help you navigate the complex process of making a co-parenting plan that makes everyone happy.
If you want to learn more about creating a successful holiday co-parenting schedule, call us at (757) 317-5125 for a confidential consultation with a family law attorney in Virginia Beach, VA.