How to handle the holidays as a co-parent
It's no secret that holidays are stressful for most people. However, it would seem much harder to handle as a co-parent. Many divorced couples tend to put discussions about parenting arrangements over the holidays on the backburner. With so much pressure all year round, that's one of the harder discussions you're faced with as a co-parent.
You probably want to spend time with your children over the holidays, but at the same time, it's reasonable that the other parent may want the same. All this tension about child custody arrangements can be a great source of stress, and your children are likely to detect it.
Here are some tips on how to avoid the stress associated with special events and holidays:
Talk it out early on
If you're in doubt about child custody arrangement, it's likely that your ex is feeling the same. Instead of sitting on the stress and worrying about how you'll handle your ex's requests, have a conversation to clarify it early on. Discuss all the variables and ensure that you and your ex agree on issues well in advance.
Keep the lines of communication open
If you're wondering whether you should discuss something with your co-parent, you should discuss it. Things such as buying extravagant gifts or pets should be discussed with your ex before you do it.
Get legalities out of the way soonest
Remember that government agencies, including courts close down for Christmas and there may be unavoidable paperwork delays. If you're traveling abroad, you need to obtain passports well in advance.
Holidays are a good time to create special memories and cooperative co-parenting is the best way to make it unforgettable for your child. Believe it or not, but children do pick up on parents' stress as well as on their efforts to get along with the other parent.
Your first holiday as a co-parent can be one of the hardest things you will ever face. You want to be with your children, but it's only reasonable of the other parent to expect the same. Communication is a crucial aspect of a healthy, productive co-parenting arrangement.
The children can pick up strife between parents and they can also pick up when the parents are working together to cater to the best interests of the child. There are some things that you should bear in mind when it comes to holiday child custody arrangements.
1. Speak up early
You may be wound up about what the first holidays as a divorced parents may hold, and so is your ex. Discuss it and relieve the stress for everyone involved.
2. Speak up frequently
If you're wondering about whether you should discuss it with your ex, you probably should. Talk about extravagant gifts, or visits to extended family.
3. Make the arrangements early
If you're planning on going abroad, be sure to get the legalities out of the way soonest. Apply for passports ahead of time and be sure everything is in order before government agencies close for the holidays.
Christmas is a great time for you to create special memories with your children, and the same applies to your ex.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.