The holidays are a time of the year when families look forward to gatherings, dinners, and quality time together. However, this can be a daunting time for families if the parents are separated or in the middle of a divorce. Try these tips to make your holiday time as enjoyable as possible when co-parenting:
- Think about your child’s best interest. Sometimes it’s hard to be selfless when deciding how to split the holidays with another parent. However, always keep in mind your child’s best interest. Maybe that four-hour drive on Christmas morning isn’t in a three-year-old’s best interest, just so that you can say you spent Christmas with your child.
- Communication is key. Communicating with the other parent is the key to success. Share your thoughts and feelings with the other parent well in advance of deciding a timeshare schedule. If you are able to convey your feelings about exercising timeshare during Thanksgiving because your family will be in town, the other parent will more likely be accommodating. If you do not communicate, they will never know.
- Be open-minded. When both parents want to have the same holiday, and compromise seems difficult, be the parent who is open minded by considering a timeshare schedule that alternates holidays annually. With this in mind, you may not exercise timeshare for Christmas this year, but you have guaranteed timeshare with your children for Christmas next year.
- Plan Ahead. Planning ahead not only means thinking about the holiday schedule you would like to exercise months in advance, but it also means getting informed regarding your rights. Be the more prepared parent and seek guidance. Sit down with an attorney prior to agreeing to a holiday timeshare schedule. They can inform you on your rights and whether the timeshare agreement you will propose is fair and reasonable to both parents.
- Counseling. Co-Parenting is the number one challenge for parents raising a child in two different households. If parents are unable to communicate or get along, think about going to counseling, either individually or together, to see what options there are to better your relationship. Remember, your children are affected by the lack of co-parenting.
Following these tips can help alleviate some of the stresses during the holidays.
Once parents get through one holiday season, the rest should fall into place. If you are a father who wants to spend time with your kids this holiday season, please contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm at 407-896-2677 today.