Now that it’s November, we’re deep in the holiday season. The grocery stores are stocking up with pumpkin puree, turkeys, hams, sugar, and all the ingredients needed for a perfect holiday dinner. Meanwhile, Amazon is busy taking orders and pushing its deliveries as fast as it can. Our local stores are on board too; they’re now closing late so shoppers can come at all hours of the day and night.
Usually, the holidays bring warm fuzzy memories for people, but when you’re a parent who is getting divorced, the holidays can have a whole new meaning. Instead of being excited about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, divorcing parents may feel worried about how they’re going to split the holidays with their ex. “Will I have my kids on Christmas?” is a question a lot of our new clients have. Read on as we offer some advice on how to address the holidays when you draft your divorce agreement.
Advice for Low-Conflict Families
Do you get along well with your ex? If you are on friendly terms and you’ll both be in town for the holidays, you don’t necessarily have to give up anything. If you can be in the same room together without arguing, it may be a good choice to simply celebrate the holiday as you always did – as one big happy family.
Eventually, it’s more than likely that you and your ex will meet someone new. Instead of pushing them aside or out and making them feel like outsiders, consider inviting them to the family holiday celebrations. This can be an excellent solution and highly beneficial for your children as well. It’s good for your kids to see their parents on friendly terms and letting family traditions survive the divorce.
Advice for Medium to High-Conflict Families
Are you not moved on from the breakup enough that you’ll be able to spend the holidays with your ex? Or, are you still angry at your ex for marital misconduct or are they still angry with you? If being together as “a family” despite the split is impractical for your family, that’s okay. In these situations, it’s common for parents to simply create an arrangement in their divorce where they alternate holidays every year.
If you and your ex are on bad terms, as many divorcing spouses are, the best thing to do is stick to the agreement about child custody over the holidays and not deviate from it. In our experience, high-conflict families should be very detailed about child custody in their divorce agreement and make sure no stone is unturned. Hopefully, as time goes by, trust is slowly restored and eventually, the parents can be more flexible in terms of child custody.
For legal representation in a divorce or child custody matter, contact The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline by calling (940) 400-0475.