If you’re going through a divorce and you have kids, it’s definitely not too early to start thinking about how you’re going to split parenting time during the holidays. Most of the time, parents get caught up in the mechanics of their divorce and don’t realize that they’re facing an issue until it’s already upon them.
Here are three of the biggest problems you may encounter your first holiday season after your marital split:
- Not planning ahead
When you don’t have a holiday visitation plan in place, things can get ugly — very fast. Usually, neither parent wants to miss out on special events with their children.When you neglect to set up a temporary agreement regarding the holiday schedule while negotiating the terms of your divorce, chaos can ensue. You and your spouse may both make assumptions that leave you equally upset and angry. It can also put your kids in the middle of your dispute.
- Refusing to be flexible
If either parent refuses to be flexible about the holiday season, you may both wind up fighting about the issues in front of a judge. When you’re dividing up holiday time, remember: Creativity counts. If your spouse traditionally holds Thanksgiving for their family, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate a second Thanksgiving with your kids the following weekend. Look for ways to compromise with your spouse about the holidays and keep your kids’ needs foremost in both of your minds.
- Making out-of-town plans
Maybe you’ve always taken the kids out-of-state to go skiing for their Christmas vacation. This year, however, your spouse isn’t going along — and they may not want the kids to go, either. You may not be able to take the kids out of the state without the other parent’s permission, so don’t make reservations until you find out.
If you have kids, talk to your divorce attorney about how you can negotiate a fair agreement for holiday parenting time. This definitely isn’t the time to just hope things will work out for the best.