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Successful holiday co-parenting tips

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2023 | Child Custody

Holidays are excellent opportunities for children to create unforgettable memories. But, for divorced parents, holidays throughout the year can quickly become significant sources of stress. Some parents who are able to co-parent choose to spend holidays together with their children while others need to divide special times of year in ways that work for everyone. 

It’s always best to plan the holidays well in advance so everyone knows what to expect. This is true throughout the year, so don’t focus only on winter holidays. Also think about other special occasions that are important for your children when trying to accommodate the schedule to meet your child’s needs. 

Review your parenting plan

Your parenting plan is the first thing you should check when there are disputes about holidays or if you want to know what to expect for an upcoming holiday. The plan should include information about which parent will have each holiday, when transfers occur and any other important information for these special days.

Creating a parenting plan must be your priority if you don’t have one yet. Ideally, you and your ex can work together to determine how to make things work. If not, the court will set a parenting plan for you, and you must abide by it once it is in place if/until it is formally modified.

Remain flexible and willing to compromise

Even the best-laid plans for the holidays might have to be changed. This can be small changes, such as one parent needing an extra day with the children so they can see family members who are in from out of town or as complex as having to rework the entire schedule. When both parents are willing to be flexible and compromise, kids can benefit in any number of ways. 

Give your children a voice

In some cases, children might have preferences concerning what they want to do. Never make them feel pressured to choose one way or the other. Instead, make it clear that the focus is on them being able to enjoy their time and to experience holiday traditions with each side of the family.

Ultimately, doing what’s best for your children must remain the priority. Working with your ex is likely the easiest way to make this happen. In some cases, involving the court is necessary because there’s no resolution possible. Under these circumstances, seeking legal guidance as proactively as possible is generally advisable.