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Co-Parenting Tips for the Holiday Season

August 5, 2021 Uncategorized

When parents divorce, they must learn to develop a new normal (yes, we had this before COVID-19), which is especially difficult over the holidays. If this is your first holiday season without your ex-spouse, you may not know exactly how to spend the season. Do you follow the same customs? Do you have distinct celebrations for each event? Do you start new holiday customs? Do you go on vacation to avoid thinking about the holidays?

In truth, each family is unique, so what works for one family could not work for another. This article offers advise for divorced parents, regardless of their status. You should be able to employ some of these post-divorce co-parenting suggestions regardless of your situation!

For Ex-Spouses Who Get Along

Are you one of the lucky parents whose ex-husband or wife gets along with you? If that’s the case, congrats on a “nice divorce.” Even if your divorce was amicable, the first holiday season after the split is never easy. It can be difficult not to reflect about how the holidays used to be if you’re alone on Christmas or sharing Thanksgiving with your single pals, and that’s fine. It will become easier with each passing year.

Our co-parenting advise for parents who get along with their ex is as follows:

  • If you and your ex are no longer together, try spending the holidays with your children as a family. Unless you choose to celebrate the holidays apart, there’s no reason not to spend the holidays together if you’re on pleasant terms.
  • If you have a yearly ritual, such as Thanksgiving at your brother’s place, see if you may invite your ex to the dinner if the host agrees.
  • Keep yourself occupied by organizing plans with friends or relatives if your ex has your children on a specific holiday.
  • You have every right to be alone if this is your first holiday season without your children and you want to be alone! Light a fire in the fireplace, binge on Netflix, or curl up with a nice book and a warm blanket. Go ahead and indulge if you want to take a short weekend break away to focus on yourself.
  • If it’s not feasible to continue with the old family traditions because your ex is dating someone new or is out of town, start new ones with your children that will provide them with wonderful memories.

When You Don’t Get Along With Your Ex-Spouse

If you don’t get along with your ex, it’ll be critical to follow the court’s instructions regarding child custody and visitation around the holidays. Even if you don’t agree on many subjects, you should try to treat one other with respect around this time of year.

Here’s what we’d say to parents that don’t get along:

  • During the holidays, be sure to stick to the Parenting Plan, especially if any variation will cause problems.
  • Even if you don’t expect the other parent to reciprocate, it’s wonderful to encourage your children to create the other parent a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, even if you don’t want the other parent to do the same. Alternatively, if you have a working adolescent, you might urge them to buy a gift for the other parent. The gesture brings joy to others.
  • Even if it’s difficult, be pleasant and considerate to your ex and their family.
  • Encourage your children to spend time with your ex’s parents during the holidays if they are wonderful people. Remember that your children’s bond with your ex’s parent and siblings is highly essential.

When Your Ex-Spouse Is Away for the Holidays

When a marriage divorces, one of the spouses may relocate out of state or simply leave town for the holidays. Perhaps your ex is on his or her honeymoon or is out of town on business for the holidays. You’re on your own with the kids in that situation. Here’s some advice if you’re alone with your kids during the holidays:

  • Encourage your children to contact, FaceTime, or Skype their other parent on the holiday day if the other parent is simply out of town.
  • Make your children’s holiday memorable.
  • Whether you are a conventional cook or not, consider creating a lovely Christmas meal with your children using a Betty Crocker cookbook (or a low-carb or Paleo cookbook). If you like, invite friends or relatives, or simply have a great supper with your children alone.
  • If you have any annual tradition If you are unable to continue your annual traditions for some reason, solicit ideas from your children and establish new ones.
  • Think about renting a cottage or doing something new for the holidays if sitting at home is too hard.
  • Even if it means making Christmas gifts, decorating the tree with a theme, or volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, try something new. Trying something completely new can sometimes take your mind off the divorce, while also offering a sense of fulfillment for you and your children.

We hope you found some of the advice in this article to be beneficial. Spodek Law Group offers a free consultation if you need legal help with a divorce or child custody issue.



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