Navigating Child Custody Over the Holidays

Now that it’s the beginning of December, we’re deep in the holiday season. Christmas lights are going up, massive Christmas trees are up at local malls and outdoor shopping centers, Starbucks is featuring its holiday drinks, people are cozying up to fireplaces, and generally spreading good cheer. While the holidays can bring warm feelings of joy for intact families, they can bring negative feelings for divorcing parents with children.

If you’re headed toward divorce or already started the process and you have kids, you’re probably wondering how child custody is addressed over the holidays, and for good reason. Will you see your kids over Hanukkah or Christmas? Will you still be able to honor family traditions? Will you be all alone over the holidays? In this article, we explain how child custody is typically addressed by divorcing couples.

When You Get Along

Do you have a pretty good relationship with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse? If so, you may not have to give up anything over the holidays. If it works out with everybody’s schedules, you have the option of celebrating the holidays as one big happy family, as you did before. And as new significant others join the family, you can warmly invite them as well so they can feel welcomed and included in the family.

“What if I don’t want to spend the holidays with my ex?” If for some reason or another you do not want to spend the holidays with your ex (surely, you have a good reason), a good alternative is to alternate holidays and rotate them every year. This is a popular solution and it works well with many families.

When You Don’t Get Along

Sometimes, things are quite strained between former spouses. In these situations, it’s very important that divorcing parents make a very detailed parenting plan, and when it comes to the holidays, the best thing for the parents to do is stick to the custody arrangement outlined in the parenting plan. As time goes by and the dust settles, trust is slowly restored and the parents can be more flexible with their schedules.

Next: Shocking Things About Divorce Part 3

Child custody can be a very sensitive issue. If you’re looking for a lawyer, contact our firm to request a consultation by calling (949) 565-4158.