Navigating the Holidays with Children after a Divorce

Co-parenting can present a unique challenge to divorcing parents. Despite their best intentions to get along, it is not always possible for some parents to agree on everything when it comes to their children. Co-parenting around the holidays can be more difficult that co-parenting generally, and therefore, parents may need to make an extra effort in order to ensure that they and their children have a memorable holiday.

Which parent gets to officially spend the holiday with the children is something that is spelled out in the parenting agreement. The parents can provide the court with an agreement that they think will work best for their families. This could mean alternating holidays each year, or sharing the actual day of the holiday between the parents, with the children spending part of the day with each parent.

If the parents do not mark the same holidays, for example, if one parent celebrates Christmas and the other does not, then the parent who wants to celebrate the holiday can ask to have the children celebrate with him every year. This parent may have to give up another major holiday or additional time during the year in order to get this agreement.

The parents can also agree to allow the children to contact the parent they are not spending the holiday with in order to share holiday greetings.

Straying from the court ordered holiday visitation schedule can work sometimes, but it can also make the holidays more stressful as parents try to make up and trade days in order to make up for swapped holidays. In addition, while parents may be getting along one year and agree to swap holidays, one parent may decide to go back on the deal the following year. Sticking to the holiday schedule in the parenting agreement, unless there is an emergency, is usually the best course of action.

If the parents are willing, there is an option for the parents and children to celebrate the holiday together. While this may be a good option for the children, depending on the age of the children, it can cause more confusion for the children who may see it as a sign that their parents are reuniting and staying together. If the parents decide to try this joint holiday approach, the parents should take the time to explain to the children that they are choosing to spend the holiday together, but that it does not necessarily mean the parents will be reuniting.

Let Us Assist You

There are multiple issues to be considered when getting divorced with children. There will be many changes to the children’s lives, and you should concentrate on helping your children get through the divorce, while letting an experienced Naperville divorce attorney handle the legal process. To schedule a consultation, contact the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today.


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