Now that we’re deeper into the new year, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Although joyous, the holiday season still brings its share of craziness and stress. This can be especially true if you’re co-parenting. Too many unmarried parents try to “wing it” through the season. If you did that last year, you know how exhausting that way can be.
As with almost everything in life, preparation is the best way to combat future problems. It’s never too early to start thinking about how to share custody during the holidays. Here are some tips that can help you when this new year closes.
The Major Holidays
For many Americans, Christmas and Thanksgiving are the two major holidays of the year. However, it’s important to remember that our great nation represents many cultures and religions. Your family may have other holidays that are just as important to you.
Some families choose to swap the kids each year. Parent A gets them for Thanksgiving, and Parent B takes the children for Christmas. Next year, they trade, with Parent A taking Christmas while Parent B gets Thanksgiving.
To cut down on confusion and logistics, it may be easier to keep your major holidays consistent. Parent A always has them for Holiday A, and Parent B always has them for Holiday B.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can cause a deal of consternation for co-parents. The dates of these days change every year, and they fall on weekends. This inconsistency can easily muddy someone’s plans.
In your parenting plan, you can create stipulations for days like these. For instance, you can make sure that the kids are with a specific parent every time it is “their” day, no matter what.
Many “weekend parents” can feel cheated if they must hand over the kids on a Parent’s Day. In those cases, you can keep your schedule rigid and unchanging. If the kids are supposed to be with a certain parent every other weekend, they always will be, regardless of any holiday that comes or goes.
You can use either of the options above for birthdays, Easter, or any other day that’s important to you.
Negotiating Your Parenting Plan
You always have the option to work out any plan you want with the other parent. If you work well together and can coordinate your schedules, go for it.
For parents who need help working out a plan, we recommend attending mediation. A legal professional will help you work out the details of your parenting plan, attempting to meet everyone’s needs.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you put the plan in writing and submit it to the court. Doing so is better for everyone. It makes sure that both parents stick with the plan or face legal consequences. A written, official plan also protects parents from false accusations about breaking the plan.
(407) 753-4111 can help you craft a reasonable, fair parenting plan. If necessary, we can also help you take the matter to court. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at (407) 753-4111.