3 Holiday Seasons Tips for Divorced Parents
The holiday season is fast approaching. For many, this is a joyous time of year. However, for divorced couples with children, it can sometimes be stressful.
Both parents might feel they deserve to spend the holidays with their kids. Of course, unless two divorced individuals are able to spend time together in a civil manner, it’s impossible for each parent to spend the entirety of the holiday season with their children.
This isn’t meant to suggest that the holiday season needs to cause stress and conflict for those in this situation. There are various ways divorced parents can navigate the holidays relatively easily. They include:
Handling the Matter Before the Divorce is Finalized
This is ideal. It’s best for spouses to officially determine how the kids will spend their holidays before they fully divorce each other.
An attorney can help when spouses attempt to decide what type of arrangement would be fair. Common arrangements include the following:
- Alternating holidays: This is a simple and effective approach to solving a common problem facing spouses with kids when they get a divorce. You could agree that one spouse gets the kids during the holidays on years that end in odd numbers, and the other one gets the kids on years ending in even numbers.
- Fixed holidays: This arrangement involves kids spending certain holidays with one parent and other holidays with their other parent. Such an arrangement often works when two parents have different religions.
- Split holidays: It may be possible for parents to both spend some time with their kids during the holidays if they live relatively close to one another. For example, the kids could spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas day with the other parent. Of course, you should only agree to this arrangement if you have strong reason to believe your ex will honor it.
- Double holidays: Double holiday is an arrangement in which kids celebrate a holiday twice: once with one parent, one with the other. This is less likely to be a formal arrangement, as a parent can easily choose to celebrate a holiday with their kids whenever they wish to.
Considering Your Children’s Ages
You may ask your children to contribute their own opinions regarding who they should spend the holidays with. Consider their ages before doing so.
Children under the age of 12 may not be mature enough to make this type of decision. Such a child might be easily swayed by one parent to side with them.
However, if your kids are teenagers, and they seem to be capable of making their own decisions, even when this involves defying the will of either of their parents, you might avoid disputes with your ex by letting your children decide how they will spend the holiday season.
Be sure to discuss gifts with your ex before making any purchases. Even if you’re able to comfortably agree on who should see the children on the holidays, the situation may nevertheless become awkward if your kids receive the same gifts from both parents.
Just remember, if you haven’t finalized a divorce yet, you can avoid stress during the holidays by addressing these matters ahead of time with your spouse. A Pasadena divorce attorney at Baghdaserians Law Group will provide the assistance you need throughout the process. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at (626) 460-9525.