Many people feel stressed when the holiday season approaches. Special events, family dinners, and other celebrations lead to jam-packed schedules. Trying to juggle everything can seem overwhelming and exhausting.
Divorced and separated couples can experience an extra layer of stress due to the challenges of co-parenting. Determining a schedule that works for everyone and allows both parents to spend quality time with their children is crucial. However, negotiating a co-parenting plan might not be straightforward for some.
Below are three co-parenting tips you can follow to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone.
Put Your Kids First
You and your ex likely agree that your child’s needs should be at the top of the priority list. Although divorce stirs up a range of negative emotions, you and the other parent should want to create a co-parenting plan in your son’s or daughter’s best interests.
If you can set aside your differences and come together to make a schedule allowing your child to spend time with both of you, it can minimize additional fallout from the divorce and ensure your child’s happiness and stable lifestyle.
Create a Co-parenting Schedule in Advance
You should talk to your ex about a holiday schedule before the holidays begin. Planning ahead can prevent confusion and problems in the future. Writing out a detailed schedule lets you and your former partner know the dates and times you get to spend with your child. During your planning session, you should also determine who will transport your child from one parent to the other. If you both have work conflicts, maybe a grandparent, aunt, or uncle could pick up your child and spend some time with them before delivering them to the other parent.
Co-parenting schedules are different for everyone. There aren’t any guidelines or rules except what’s in your custody agreement. Keeping that document in mind, you should consider each person’s obligations and make a plan that makes sense for everyone involved.
Make Room for Scheduling Conflicts
Flexibility is critical while co-parenting during the holidays. You can’t control the unexpected. Sometimes, one parent gets called into work, or out-of-town relatives are available to visit at the last minute. Maybe your child gets sick, and you need to shift your visitation to a different week altogether. You might not like rearranging plans, but you should allow changes in the co-parenting schedule when necessary.
Keeping the lines of communication open is essential. You and your ex should touch base regularly about each other’s schedules and inform the other of potential issues that could require adjustments. Remember that compromising gives your child time with both of you. Winning an argument with your ex might feel good, but it can hurt your son or daughter and make the holidays less enjoyable for them.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
The family law attorneys at Pincus Goodman, P.C. have decades of legal experience in Virginia Beach, VA. We understand the devastation of spending the holidays alone while your child is with your ex. You’re no longer part of the same family unit you were accustomed to and must cope with your new normal.
You can depend on us to assist you with a co-parenting plan that gives you the quality time you need while meeting your child’s best interests. When you and your former partner can’t seem to agree, let us step in and find a way to make a schedule everyone is happy with.
If you want to discuss your holiday co-parenting plan or think you need to ultimately modify your custody agreement, call us at (757) 301-9634 for a confidential consultation.