Navigating the holidays with your children and co-parent

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Sunday, December 11, 2016.

If you’re currently separated, going through a divorce, or have been divorced, you know that the holiday season can be especially stressful on you and your children.  There can be a lot of variables that can affect your plans. These might include:

  • The geographical distance between you and your ex-spouse–do you live close by or far away?
  • Holiday plans for both households and scheduling time (e.g., who has family coming into town when?)
  • How custody is being handled? Is it with our without court involvement?
  • What kind of custody you have? Do you have full, shared, or joint custody?
  • Your relationship with your ex-spouse–is it friendly or hostile?
  • Whether you or your ex-spouse has re-married or found another partner

Even though there are many things to think about as you plan for the holidays, putting your children first can help cool tensions and create wonderful holiday memories for you and your family.

Plans, plans, plans

One of the best ways to do this is to plan ahead. Having a plan in place creates consistency for your children and reduces the chance of conflict between you and your ex-spouse, or between you and your children.

Even with a plan in place, things may still not go smoothly, especially when you’re dealing with kids. Make sure you keep communication lines open and that you’re flexible when possible, keeping the needs of your children as your main focus.

Your best is enough

At the same time, as your children come first, don’t overcompensate for your feelings of guilt and hurt over your separation or divorce by overindulging your children. You and your ex-spouse should be working together on creating a new normal for them that is both healthy for the two of you and for your children. You should also make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re unable to spend the holidays with your children, make sure you have plans for yourself that nurture you.

The only thing that anyone can expect of you is your best. When you put your best efforts forward on behalf of yourself and your children, you will place yourself in the likely position of making peaceful, happy and healthy memories. No matter how things ultimately turn out, in the end, your best is enough.

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