Managing Child Custody Over the Holidays

Now that it’s November, the holiday season is upon us. For many, the upcoming weeks mean eggnog, pumpkin pie, turkey, Christmas lights outside the house, family holiday traditions, hot chocolate, Christmas trees, and exchanging gifts with the ones we love. While this can be a “warm and fuzzy” time of year, it can bring a whole new set of feelings for parents who are filing for divorce.

If you’re getting a divorce and have yet to celebrate the holidays after the breakup, you may have questions about how parents handle custody during the holiday season. Will you have to spend the holidays alone, child-free from now on? Or, is there a better way?

Tips for Low-Conflict Families

If you and your spouse get along well (what some call a low-conflict family), you may not have to spend the holidays without your kids. Many low-conflict families decide to go ahead and celebrate the holidays as they always have – like one big happy family. And if you have significant others enter into the picture, it can be nice to welcome them with open arms too. This shows your children that even though Mom and Dad are divorced, their parents still put their children first.

Alternating Holidays is an Option

Maybe you’re not ready to spend the holidays together and that may not happen, and that’s okay. Perhaps you still have hard feelings about the marriage or the divorce. After all, it can be hard for people to move on, especially when there’s been infidelity or someone was bad with money and it significantly hurt the couple’s finances.

If sharing the holidays isn’t realistic, another popular option is to alternate holidays every year with your ex. A lot of parents do this and it works quite well for most medium to high-conflict families.

If you have a high-conflict family, our advice is to stick to whatever the divorce decree says about child custody over the holidays. As time goes by, the trust will slowly be restored and hopefully, you’ll eventually be able to be more flexible about child custody.

Next: Successful Co-Parenting During Divorce

If you’re looking for an attorney to handle your divorce or child custody matter, contact the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis for a free phone consultation.

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