Parents who are divorcing seldom think about the fine details of their parenting plan until they have to sit down and draw it up. The holidays after a divorce can be a particularly difficult period for newly separated families.
Tensions often boil over during holidays such as Christmas and July 4 when custody of the children or divorce is likely to alternate or is split.
Newly divorced or separated parents should always be aware this is a stressful time for their children and should aim to preserve some continuity with their previous holiday traditions. Custody orders are intended to be in the best interest of the children. That usually means spending time with both parents.
Here are some tips for the holidays after divorce.
1 Co-operate with your ex-partner
Divorcing spouses should remember the holidays should still be a wonderful experience for their kids. They should set their differences aside and work together to ensure their kids have the best experience possible.
Continuity is important. If, for instance, the kids are used to spending Christmas with their grandparents, they should still be allowed to see them.
2 Draw Up a Carefully Executed Plan
It’s important to have a well-planned visitation schedule for the holidays. You should know each other’s schedules to avoid miscommunication. Find an agreed place to pick up and drop off the children. No matter how bitter you feel toward your ex-partner, don’t argue in front of the children. The holidays may be tougher for them than they are for you.
3 Seek Support
After a divorce or a separation, you may be at your most vulnerable. Emotions are often elevated during the holidays. Try not to spend too much time alone. Seek out friends and family. If you belong to a support group, get to know its members socially. If you are a member of a church, a meet-up group or any other kind of society, talk to others.
4 Make New Holiday Traditions
Divorce can bring many changes. Not all of them are frightening and negative. You should open yourself up to new things at the holidays to keep them fun. If you always spent Christmas or July 4 with your ex’s family, ring in the changes and spend the downtime with yours.
5 Be realistic
Be realistic about your expectations. Divorce may leave you less financially secure. Don’t try to do too much over the holidays, leading to burn out. Your life is undergoing a major change. You should factor in additional financial pressures to the picture. Ensure your plans are realistic.
It’s important to have a positive attitude after a divorce or a separation. It’s a new start and countless opportunities are opening up. If you need guidance with a parenting plan, contact our Georgia family lawyers today.