A recent (or currently navigated) divorce can put a damper on a California family’s holiday season. While your decision to divorce will undoubtedly cause some disruption and changes in your children’s daily lives, it doesn’t need to ruin their holidays. There are several things you can do to holiday-proof your child custody agreement so that you can spend the time enjoying festivities with your kids instead of fighting with your ex.
Children fare best in a divorce when they maintain active relationships with both parents, unless, of course, the court has determined that a parent is unfit for custody. If that is not the case in your situation, then the best option might be to ensure that your children are able to enjoy their holidays with both of their parents. To implement this idea, you can incorporate details into your child custody plan to help avoid confusion and disputes.
Flexibility and sharing are keys to avoid child custody disputes during holidays
It’s understandable that you and your ex both want to spend time with the kids during the holidays. The easiest way to avoid child custody issues is to create a calendar of holiday events and other special occasions throughout the year.
You can double up on the same day or agree to take turns with one parent celebrating with the kids on the actual date of a holiday and the other sharing festivities on a different day. What matters most is putting it all in writing so that both parents and the children know what to expect.
Discuss travel and gift-giving ahead of time
If a parent feels caught off-guard by a co-parent’s spontaneous plans to travel with the kids during the holidays, it can spark a child custody dispute that brings everyone’s joy to a quick halt. The same goes for gift-giving. It’s best to discuss these issues ahead of time and agree to certain terms, such as a price limit on gifts or who will travel when and where. When both parents fully inform each other ahead of time, there is less room for legal problems and emotional upsets to arise.
Keep child custody issues between adults
If you and your ex disagree about a child custody issue during the holidays, it may be less stressful for your children if you do not discuss it in their presence. There are support resources available to help you negotiate a solution, even if it means asking the court to intervene. You shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for support, especially when it helps you protect your children’s best interests and enables them to enjoy their holidays following your divorce.