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Co-Parenting Tips: Planning for the 2022 Holiday Season

For many, October represents the start of the holiday season. Once Halloween hits, the end of the year flies by as people make plans to visit family, attend holiday parties, and take advantage of the festive season. For co-parents, this time of year can be fraught. Whether you’re newly divorced, or you’ve been doing this for years, the stress of the holiday season can make even the most amicable of co-parents tense and frustrated.

Below we offer co-parents some helpful tips on planning for the upcoming holiday season.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Planning is the name of the game when it comes to having a smooth holiday season. The sooner you start thinking about how you hope to spend the holiday season, the better. This is especially true if you are planning to travel anywhere with your children. Similarly, if your plans involve trading time with your co-parent, it is recommended that you discuss this schedule change well in advance. Not only does this courtesy give your co-parent time to look at their own holiday plans, but it will give you time to work through any issues together.

Tip #2: Revisit Your Parenting Plan

Many parents make holiday provisions in their parenting plans. These can include how holidays are to be shared between parents and how requests to alter the schedule should be handled. For example, some parents trade off holidays every other year, while others split the day in half. Additionally, co-parents may decide that any requests to alter the holiday schedule be made in writing at least 30 days in advance or have rules regarding taking the children out of the area or state to visit relatives.

Refamiliarizing yourself with your parenting plan can go a long way in preventing conflict between co-parents and can make holiday planning easier.

Tip #3: Consider What Your Children Want to Do

As your children get older, it is natural that they will have a greater say in how they want to spend their holiday season. Additionally, the older they get, the more likely they are to have bustling lives of their own. For example, if your child participates in extracurricular activities, they may have holiday showcases to perform in or holiday parties to attend. Similarly, many sports teams have special events during the holiday season or fundraising initiatives.

When appropriate, you and your co-parent may wish to consult your children on how and where they want to spend specific holidays. Involving your children in holiday planning can help them feel more connected to both parents, and it can help you avoid major schedule conflicts.

Tip #4: Get Legal Help When You Need It

Though you often see the ideal co-parenting relationship represented in the media, where divorced parents are still friends and host giant, blended family holidays, this is rarely what it’s like in real life. Instead, for many divorced or separated parents, the holidays can be incredibly complicated. You may also be facing your first holiday alone while your children are with their other parent. No matter how you look at it, this is hard and can feel incredibly isolating. You are not alone in this.

At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC, we know the holiday season can be challenging for co-parents. Our law firm is here to help when you need us, from helping you through the divorce process to guiding you in dealing with a custody dispute with your co-parent. To discuss your matter with one of our lawyers, call our law firm at (731) 256-0023 or send us a message online.

For more helpful tips on co-parenting during the holiday season, review some of our past blog posts: