The holiday season is here in Lakeland, but if it is your first holiday as a divorced parent you may have some confusion and concerns about what to expect. Your divorce decree may spell out which holidays you will have your child in your care. Even with these plans already in place, you and your ex still have to make sure you are communicating and cooperating with one another this holiday season, for the benefit of your child. The following are some tips on co-parenting during the holidays.
Review your parenting plan
Your parenting plan will likely contain details on timesharing during the holidays. For example, you may alternate years with you having your child at Christmas on even years and your ex having your child at Christmas on odd years. Alternatively, you may share the holidays with you having your child on Christmas morning and your ex having your child on Christmas afternoon. It is important to review this order well in advance of the holidays, so you know what to expect and have time to make modifications if necessary.
Respect your ex’s time with your child
Children whose parents are divorced can feel stress over the holidays if their parents are fighting over where the child should be or what they are doing with the child. Divorced parents have to respect their ex’s time with their child. This means being on time for drop-offs and pick-ups and avoiding talking bad about each other in the child’s presence. A child’s holidays should not be marred by waring parents.
Work together for the sake of your child
If you and your ex are on amicable terms post-divorce you might want to try to do some activities together involving your child. For example, you both could attend your child’s holiday concert together. Or, if this requires too much cooperation and good will, you can still do something like help your child choose a Christmas present to give to their other parent. It can also help to ensure your child can contact your ex during the holidays, for example through video chat or a phone call. With some cooperation and good-will, divorced parents can help their child have a happy holiday season.