The holiday season is, traditionally, a time for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company while giving thanks for the year’s blessings. Unfortunately, for children and parents of divorce, this time of year can be particularly stressful and act as a trigger for certain painful emotions. In addition to magnifying feelings of loneliness, this season can introduce certain issues such as deciding where your child will spend Thanksgiving or sorting thorough how their school break will affect your established child custody or visitation arrangement.
Fortunately, determining how your child will spend their time during the holiday season does not have to be a major battle. To help minimize some of the stress of planning your child’s schedule this holiday season, be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
- Plan early: Do not wait until the last minute to plan out your child’s holiday schedule. The sooner you begin, the more time you will have to work out any concerns that may arise.
- Compromise: Certain holidays and dates may have particular importance to your ex-spouse, such as a planned trip to see family during Christmas. If that week is less important to you, be willing to accommodate and negotiate a trade, such as giving them Christmas in exchange for having physical custody during New Years. The more flexible you are, the more willing your ex-spouse will likely be to budge on an issue you find important at a later date.
- Put it in writing: Once an agreement is reached, make sure it is memorialized in writing and signed by both you and your ex. Include specifics such as dates and times. If this agreement is not followed, this written record can be used as evidence later on in your favor.
- Be good, for goodness sake: Remember, the holidays are a time of peace, love, and goodwill. While you and your spouse may not be on good terms, the least you can do is to set aside these differences and be civil for the sake of your child.
While these tips can help foster a happier holiday season, we all know that issues can arise that are beyond our control. If you are having trouble negotiating a mutual parenting with your spouse, contact TJC • ESQ today. Our Rhode Island family lawyers have been solving complex divorce and child custody cases for the past 30+ years and can provide the trusted guidance you need to reach an amicable solution as smoothly as possible.