Divorce court judges tend to get busy around the end of the year, often
because they deal with many cases involving parents fighting over access
to their children during the holidays. Even though your
parenting plan may clearly define visitation time, there are many reasons why you or
your ex-spouse may wish to deviate from the plan, including unexpected
visits from family, upcoming travel plans, and more. While changes to
your regular schedule may not always be convenient, it does not have to
be stressful. Remember that compromise is important.
This Christmas, keep in mind these helpful tips to make co-parenting less
Make plans in advance. If your holiday plans are going to deviate from your regular parenting
plan, it is important not to wait until the last minute to let your ex-spouse
know. Give them as much advanced notice as possible so that you can work
something out cooperatively and avoid any preventable frustration and conflict.
Communication is key. If you are going to request a schedule change with the other parent,
explain to them why the change would be helpful to you or to your child.
The more they know about the situation, the more understanding they are
likely to respond.
The door swings both ways. Even if your ex-spouse is testing your patience and flexibility, remember
that one day you might appreciate a return of the favor. Be patient!
Be vocal and responsive. Disagree with your ex-spouse’s plan? Don’t keep it to yourself.
Bring it up and try to look for an alternative. Don’t agree to a
plan initially and then refuse to allow them access to your child when
the time comes.
Coordinate your gift giving with your ex-spouse to ensure that your child doesn’t receive duplicate gifts.
We hope that you will not only find these tips useful during the holidays,
but will also find them helpful for success throughout the year. As long
as you and your ex-spouse keep your child’s happiness and needs
a priority, you are more likely to avoid unnecessary drama and stress.
We hope you and your family enjoy a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
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