FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-03-15
Are you divorced? How did you and your ex handle Thanksgiving and Christmas with the kids? For some divorced couples, the holiday season can be a nightmare, full of anger and frustration, as they try to spend quality time with their children while avoiding fights with former spouses.
Child custody and visitation issues over the holiday season can be very difficult, particularly for the newly divorced. Get a jumpstart this year and start planning now for successful vacations, holidays and family get-togethers in 2012.
Some vindictive ex-spouses will do anything to make their exes miserable by depriving them of time with their children during special days, ignoring the parenting plans and child custody arrangements. They selfishly fail to count the cost to the wellbeing of their children by denying them precious parental interaction.
Grown children of divorce advise that deprived parents should not just roll over and die, but neither should they fight tooth and nail. Instead, resist anything that puts the children in the middle and focus, instead, on making any time spent with them special. Make the children feel wanted and welcome, and avoid spending precious time together moaning about how seldom you get to see them or complaining about your ex.
In order to make 2012 vacations and holidays better, bury the hatchet and try to work things out ahead of time. Open those lines of communication with the ex and start seeking solutions now.
- Plan ahead and be specific
- Include your kids in the plans but don’t let them dictate the outcome
- Write it down so everyone is clear on the details
- Be flexible and allow some give and take
- Be nice and avoid an adult meltdown around the kids
Sometimes, creating new family traditions are the best route. If your ex always gets the kids over Christmas, establish another weekend as your family’s Christmas. Eventually, that time together will feel just as important as December 25.
If you and your ex-spouse still cannot work out these details on your own, consult with an attorney who is experienced with parenting plans, visitation and child custody issues. A lawyer can help work out a legal strategy that maximizes time with your kids, whether it be through mediation or, if necessary, taking your ex to court.