Holiday time should be a happy time with family. Yet, the meaning of the holidays seems to change when families are no longer together due to divorce. But holiday visitation scheduling does not have to be stressful. It is always up to you and your co-parent to make it a positive experience. Both parents will obviously want to spend as much time as they can with the children, especially during the holidays. Consider the following suggestions to make holiday visitation negotiations a little bit easier.
Create a Plan. Many families decide to alternate holidays each year. For instance, if you have the kids for Thanksgiving this year, you’ll get them for Christmas next year. Taking turns makes things more fair and having a regular plan eliminates the need to negotiate every time.
Flexibility and Compromise. Take into consideration each other’s work schedules. If one parent has to work during Thanksgiving this year, but it’s their turn for visitation, maybe you should reconsider. The kids wouldn’t want to stay at home alone.
Pick your Battles. Don’t disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. Some holidays may be more important to you than others. If you enjoy Halloween with the kids, and your spouse loves the Thanksgiving holidays, consider that when establishing schedules.
Let bygones be bygones. Bringing up old issues will only make it more difficult to reach an agreement about holiday visitation. It will be worth it to set aside differences until after the holiday season in order to keep the peace.
Talk alone. Don’t argue and debate about visitation in front of your children. If you do, you will be creating negative memories of the holidays. No one wants to be responsible for ruining this happy time.
What do the kids want? It may be a good idea to find out what it is important to the kids. They may have a holiday gathering that holds a special place for them; if this is the case you should try and accommodate them if possible.
Relax and Enjoy. The holidays can be stressful even if you aren’t divorced. Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the holiday festivities and the company of friends and family. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
if you have any legal concerns regarding visitation, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Happy Holidays!