Holidays for the Divorced Co-Parent

The holidays may be the most challenging time to share custody of your children with a former spouse or partner. Both parents and families wish to spend these special days with their children, but usually only one parent gets to do it each year. If this is your first year after a divorce or split, the holidays can be a very lonely time, in addition to the stresses of sharing custody. By focusing on providing your children with a fun, tension-free holiday, you may be able to make the season more joyful for yourself. Below are some tips on making the most of the holiday season during or after a divorce.

Once the holidays arrive, avoid continuing to do battle with your ex.

If your divorce and custody arrangement is court-ordered and neither you nor your spouse has sought a modification, your holiday custody sharing schedule is likely set in stone for now. However, if you don’t yet have a court order regarding how to divide holiday visitation, you’ve likely had to work directly with your spouse to determine who has the children on holidays. While the arrangement may not be what you’d prefer in an ideal world, once the holiday season arrives, leaving the fight behind and focusing on the holiday time will be the most beneficial thing you can do for both you and your children. Adding tension to what is supposed to be a joyful time will only hurt your children if they’re caught in the middle of the holiday war. Being cordial with your spouse will also make the time less stressful for you, even if that’s easier said than done.

Be flexible about which day you celebrate.

While you may not have the kids on the holiday itself, no one says you can’t celebrate it again the next day! Serving a special holiday meal or holding family gatherings on days surrounding the big holidays themselves allows your children to spend even more time celebrating with family, and can strengthen familial bonds for your kids at a time when those relationships may seem more fragile.

Create new traditions to mark the season.

While some of your kids’ favorite holiday traditions may have been dependent on having both you and your ex in the same household, try to create new holiday activities and traditions for the kids instead of dwelling on the ways things have changed. Make a new, special dish for a holiday meal, or create decorations together to hang in your new home. Creating new and exciting traditions to celebrate with your children during the holiday season can also help to ease their transition with your separation or break-up by giving them something new and different to look forward to.

If you are in need of compassionate legal assistance with a South Carolina family law issue, contact the experienced Spartanburg divorce and custody attorneys at The Cate Law Firm for a consultation, at 864-585-4226.

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