For parents who are divorced, any holiday during the year may be more stressful than joyous, as concerns over where a shared child will spend the time can be all-consuming. As a parent, you surely want to have your child to yourself over any holiday; however, working out a time-sharing arrangement over these special days is likely necessary, and best for your child. Here are some tips for sharing custody and making holidays throughout the year joyous, even if you’re divorced–
Talk to Your Children
Depending upon the age of your children, having an honest conversation with them about time-sharing during the holidays and how they’re coping with the separation is important. Even if you have been divorced for a long time, the holidays can bring up emotional feelings for children of divorce. One of the best ways that you can help your child cope with these feelings is to acknowledge them, and to make an honest effort to make the holidays about your child, not about your own desires or feelings.
Work with Your Ex-Spouse
Committing to working with your ex-spouse to reach a holiday time-sharing schedule that works for everyone is important. Ask your spouse what they want, what they’re doing for the holidays, and what they were thinking for a custody arrangement. Keep an open mind, and no matter what you do, approach the situation in an amicable and compromising frame of mind. Don’t fight or make this about who gets what.
Consider Your Options
You and your ex-spouse should sit down together to discuss the different options for dividing up certain holidays. Some options might include:
- Spending the holiday together as a whole family (which only works for divorced parents who get along and are on good terms);
- Splitting various holidays throughout the year, such as Christmas, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving, with each parent taking the child for one of the days;
- Splitting each day of the holiday 50/50 (i.e. one parent having the child in the morning, the other at night); or
- Trading holidays, with one parent getting the child throughout the duration of one day in exchange for the other parent getting custody for a different holiday.
Work with an Attorney
If reaching a custody arrangement with your spouse on your own feels impossible, the next step may be to work with an attorney. An attorney can help you to enforce an existing court order regarding holiday custody time, or submit a proposed holiday schedule to amend an existing parenting plan.
At the law offices of Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA, our child custody and divorce attorneys know that splitting time during holidays can be confusing, and is a sensitive topic for many. When you call our Ohio family law lawyers, we will help you to understand your options, and always prioritize keeping the peace in finding a solution that works for you. Please contact us today for your initial consultation or to ask our lawyers a question.