How to Handle The Holidays: Tips For Divorcing Parents. (Pt 1)

Person holding gift
The holidays can be a joyous time, but if you’re a divorced parent, they can be stressful too!

As we head into the holiday season, parent who are considering divorce (and those who are already divorced) find themselves wondering how they’re going to handle the holidays for their kids. Which parent should have the kids on Thanksgiving? And what about Christmas? Should holidays be divided, or should the children spend the day with whatever parent happens to have them for that portion of the custody agreement? It can be hard to decide.

The truth is, the right answer is different for every Oakland County family. However, while we can all acknowledge that there will be challenges during the holiday season, we do have a few pointers that may help to make the process easier. So here’s list of ideas for you to consider while planning your family’s holiday season. However, our family law attorneys caution that if there is a court order concerning parenting time for the holidays, you are required to follow that court order unless both parents agree to a different plan.

  1. Honor your family’s traditions:

Kids love traditions. Special events and customs that their family does every year to mark certain events, can carry a lot of emotional weight and importance. So while traditions after a divorce may feel pointless because the family is different, don’t give up on them.

Create new traditions if the old ones don’t work for your family. Or adapt old ones to work for the situation you have now. Either way, it’s important to make the effort to make holidays feel special for you and your children, regardless of what else is going on in life. Also, ensure that they still have the chance to see extended family and loved ones during the holidays. Relationships are very important!

  1. Keep parental disagreements to a minimum:

Nothing ruins a holiday faster than a family fight. We understand that your children may be resentful of the changes, and you’ll have to help them work through their struggles as best as you can. But helping a child adapt to change is a far cry from causing drama that they will have to deal with. And holiday parenting time is always more fun when everyone is happier.

So the best thing you and your ex can do this holiday season, is be civil and pleasant to each other as often as possible. Since you’re going to have to interact with one another regardless, any effort you can make to respect one another’s schedule changes, or work around one another’s holiday plans, will go a long way towards making the holidays more enjoyable for your kids.

Join us next time for more holiday tips!

We hope this list of suggestions was helpful to both divorced parents, and parents who’ve never been married but still struggle with custody issues. We understand that single parenting can be very stressful, and the holidays tend to add a lot more tension, which can make the whole thing very challenging.

However, know that many families have survived this transition and gone on to be stronger, happier and healthier. You can do it to! Until then, when you need any advice about your divorce, or if you’re considering divorce but don’t know how to begin the process, we’re here to help you. Our team assists families all over Southeast Michigan with custody, parenting time, Children’s Protective Services defense and PPO cases. Call our experienced family law attorneys at (248) 479-6200 . We’ve been helping Oakland County families handle their divorce, custody and child support issues for decades. Our office is located in Farmington Hills and we’re available around the clock for crisis intervention.