Co-parenting during the Holidays
The holidays are stressful for everybody. Buying gifts, scheduling to meet family, and demands at work often conspire to turn December into an ulcer-inducing month for even the most organized person. Throw coparenting into the mix, and many mothers and fathers reasonably dread the holiday season.
However, co-parenting during the holidays can often go off without a hitch—provided you put in the work and establish the right frame of mind. Below, our Jupiter divorce lawyer offers some helpful tips for getting through the holidays.
Review the Holiday Schedule
Most parenting plans should lay out who the children will spend the holidays with. If the children spend the entire holiday season with one parent, then this might be disappointing but not stressful. Most problems arise when parents split the holidays, including school vacation.
Take a fresh look at the parenting plan to review when you will have the children. If you need to transport the child on Christmas day somewhere, then you want to know that ahead of time.
Communicate with the Other Parent
Miscommunication is a key source of frustration. No one wants to be waiting in a McDonald’s parking lot for hours to pick up their child when the other parent is nowhere in sight. Call your ex and discuss the holiday schedule, including pick-up and drop-off times and locations. Remember that holiday traffic could be congested.
Maintain Some Flexibility
A lot is going on during the holidays—school concerts, job responsibilities, travel, etc. Either parent might need to adjust the visitation schedule slightly. We recommend being as flexible as possible. This does not mean readily agreeing to see your children less than the parenting plan allows during the holidays. It does mean possibly changing the drop-off times or switching up which days you are with your children.
Another source of anxiety involves fears that each parent will give the same gifts. You can talk this over ahead of time or share via email what gifts you bought.
Some parents make gift-giving a competition, which you probably should avoid. If your ex has more money than you, prepare to find out that he or she gave your children an avalanche of expensive gifts. This does not make the gifts you give your children less valuable.
The nation remains in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, which might impact how you enjoy your holidays. For example, you might normally spend the holidays with elderly relatives and friends. Because these people are most vulnerable to the virus, you might not want to see them this year. Your children could easily transmit the virus, especially if they are coming from away.
Alternately, you might still see everyone but choose to have many activities outside if the weather is nice. This is a good way to protect everyone while still enjoying each other’s company.
Also pay attention to the travel restrictions in place. Some states are limiting who can visit during the upswing in positive cases, while others require mandatory quarantine.
Contact a Jupiter Divorce Lawyer Today
Caroline Olson, P.A. has represented mothers and fathers in divorce and enforcement actions for many years. If you have a legal dispute involving the children, our Jupiter family lawyers can help.