TIPS FOR LOW-STRESS, POST-DIVORCE HOLIDAYS
If you ask parents what they love most about the holidays, many will likely say they enjoy spending some down time with their children. You might be among those who also say that even though they love the holidays, it tends to be a stressful, busy time of year. If you recently divorced, this holiday season may challenge you in more ways than one; after all, you and your kids will be adapting to your new routines.
Divorce doesn’t necessarily have to cause stress during the holidays. If you have the children’s best interests in mind, you may be able to implement several ideas to help you keep stress to a minimum. In a perfect world, co-parents would never need to return to court after divorce; in reality, however, some issues are difficult to resolve without asking a court to decide, so it’s always a good idea to know where to turn for guidance if a legal problem threatens your holiday fun.
Prevent problems by planning ahead
It’s understandable that there might be problems during the holidays if you and your spouse never talk about your schedules or plans ahead of time. Presuming that you will spend certain days with your kids, especially if it’s not written in your court order, might wind up causing a dispute if your ex has similar ideas in mind for the same days. You can prevent confusion by mapping out the holidays ahead of time and keeping a written schedule on hand.
What do your kids think?
Children who know they have the loving support of both parents are apt to fare best after divorce. Your kids might have ideas of their own for the holidays. By asking how they feel or what particular traditions and customs are most important to them, it can be helpful when you’re creating a new plan.
Both parents matter
You’re no longer married to your children’s other parent, but you understand that you will always have a relationship because you are co-parents together. It can help keep post-divorce holiday stress to a minimum if you respect the other parent’s desire to spend time with the kids, and if you are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed so that the children have ample opportunity to share holiday fun with both parents.
Choose the way that works best for your family
Many families attend church services, school performances and other special events during the holidays. You and your spouse might agree to attend such events together for the sake of your kids. Not doing so is also fine, provided you’re able to create a plan that respects the rights and needs of everyone.
If your co-parent impedes your holiday fun by not sticking to an agreed upon plan, you can seek the court’s intervention to rectify the situation as swiftly and peacefully as possible.