Child Custody & The Holiday Season

Child covering ears while parents fight

Coordinating Child Custody During Holidays

Co-parenting during the holidays can be difficult as holiday celebrations produce some of the most treasured memories your child can have. For this reason, we tend to add a great deal of emotional ties to the holiday season and the traditions that are passed down each year. 

As a family goes through a divorce or separation these traditions and memories change and adapt to their new realities. Although there is an emotional toll that comes with the change that can be hard to face, it is important to be open and honest in addressing these difficult situations with children.

In a co-parenting situation, working together as early as possible to create a clear breakdown for the upcoming holidays is very important. With any separated family, there will be two celebrations a child goes through each holiday season which need to be addressed. This new breakdown should not be looked at as a means of breaking tradition, but rather learning to include your child in each of your holiday family values, sometimes in a different way, so they don’t miss out on anything. 

In order to avoid problems and miscommunication here are a couple of easy tips to help your family get through this holiday season.

Define a Holiday Schedule Early

Anyone, especially children, is going to get very excited about the holiday season. With all the candy canes, chocolate and presents, there is a lot for a child to feel very overwhelmed about. The one thing they shouldn’t feel overwhelmed about is which house, or parent they will be spending their time with. 

It is important to sit down with your child beforehand and let them know where they will be spending their time, answer any questions and address any concerns.

As a parent, you also have to prepare yourself for the holiday season. This may include communicating with your lawyer to make sure your divorce or separation agreement is being followed through by both parties, making arrangements with family members to accommodate the time you have with the children, or speaking to your lawyer early if you have any questions about the terms of your agreement or court order.

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

With COVID-19 still being a prominent issue in today’s society, there might be some updates and changes that could possibly affect your divorce or separation agreement. Be sure to check with your lawyer to make sure the schedule should go as planned.

It is also important to voice any concern you have about your co-parent not following health precautions. The last thing you want is for the health and safety of you, your child or anyone you or your child may come in contact with, to be compromised by the improper following of safety guidelines and protocols. 

Since we might not be able to see our children in person this holiday season, a great alternative is video chats. Although video chats are not the same as being physically present, if you are placed in the position of being away from your child this holiday season, there are options, such a FaceTime, Zoom or Google Hangouts that can help feel like you and your child are together. 

Know You Have The Same Goal

The mentality should never be you versus your co-parent; it should always be in the best interest of the child, regardless of what is going on. 

Create a shared calendar of the items that you would like to discuss at the start of the conversation with your co-parent that you can reference if things get off-track.  Make sure you are both on the same page about how the holidays will be spent before you are disappointed.

For any questions regarding custody arrangements or divorce agreements, contact Epstein & Associates for more information.