01 Nov 3 Ways To Co-Parent Well During The Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the most family-oriented holidays of the year and are fun and exciting events for children. For divorced parents, the holidays can be stressful or aggravating. You don’t want to diminish the cheer of the holidays for yourself or for your children and the best way to avoid that is to plan holiday parenting time early and avoid arguments with the other parent. Here are a few tips to help you and your child’s other parent come to an agreement during the holiday season.
1) Plan Ahead
One of the most important things to consider in order to co-parent well during the holidays is to not wait to schedule plans or speak with the other parent about any travel plans. Some people have extended family that does not live close by and families use holidays as a time to come together. If you have plans to travel with your child for the holidays and their other parent doesn’t agree, you will need time. Holiday parenting time is not considered an emergency by the courts and courts are always busy, during the holidays is no exception. If the court needs to be involved, it will take a while to schedule a hearing. If you are thinking about traveling this year, it is probably too late to involve the courts, but you could get started on next year’s travel plans.
2) Create a Parenting Schedule
One of the easiest ways to co-parent well during the holidays is to avoid arguing with your child’s other parent. The best way to set you up for success is to have a parenting schedule. If parents cannot agree on an allotted time, in most cases there will be a court order determining the parenting schedule for holidays. Most parents want to mandate their time on holidays with the other parent on a case by case basis without the courts input. However, if there is no court order there is nothing in place to help when you cannot agree. Having a court order for holiday parenting is the best way to avoid arguing and you can always deviate from the court order if you both agree.
Typically, Thanksgiving is alternated each year between parents or is divided into two parts such as Thursday-Friday and Saturday-Sunday. The Christmas holiday can be divided in many ways depending on preferences and traditions. The school vacation (Christmas/Winter Break) is usually about two weeks. These weeks can be split between the parents equally and they can alternate who takes the first week and who takes the second week every year. One parent can have custody of the child until Christmas day and then the other has custody from Christmas day until the end of the break, and they can alternate yearly. Or parents can alternate the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, which is typical if one parent lives far away. Holiday parenting time trumps regular parenting time.
3) Be Considerate To Your Child
Finally, to co-parent well during the holidays it’s important to remember that this season is important to your child, their other parent, and that parent’s extended family as well. In Colorado, the courts usually decided that both parents have a right to share this time with their children. Extended family will understand if you and your child can not travel to visit them for every holiday, every year. It is most important that the child gets to be a part of both family’s holidays.
Remember that the best way to avoid complications or arguments is to address the holiday parenting time early. If you plan on traveling or need to deviate from the court order for some reason, address the other parent with plenty of time and understanding that holidays are important to them too. Many people have multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas’ or celebrate them on different days. The important thing is that your child still experiences the joy of the holidays with both families.
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