Getting the Most Out of the Holidays as a Co-Parent

‘Tis the season… for most. This time of year is generally spent with loved ones in celebration of each other and the year that has passed. Images of families passing food around the Thanksgiving table or pulling presents out from under the tree fill every commercial break on television right now. However, I understand this isn’t a reality for every family.

Ultimately, some relationships falter and new accommodations must be considered for the children of that relationship. You’re going to want to spend time with your children this holiday season, and while it might not be under ideal circumstances there is still plenty you can do to make this holiday season great for you AND your kids.

Lean Into Flexibility

This could be said for just about any family this time of year. The holidays can be stressful for everyone involved. There’s travel to plan. There are wish lists to check off. There is good food to cook. We all have a lot going on right now, so flexibility will play a major role in a successful holiday season.

As a co-parent, you likely already have a custody order and visitation schedule set. However, you and your ex may need to go outside of this visitation schedule to have a fulfilling holiday for both of you. Flexibility means considering what makes sense for both of you. Do you have to work on Christmas? It may make sense for you to have the kid(s) during Thanksgiving in that case. The same can be said for traditions – does one side of the family have a large tradition that the kids should be a part of?

Put the Kids First

There’s a balance to this. You should be flexible and work with your ex but you also shouldn’t just give in to all of their demands if it doesn’t make sense for you or the kids. Put the kids first and find a middle ground that makes sense.

The court system will always favor the best interests of the children. If you do this independent of the courts then you can earn favor in the future should your case be brought back in front of a judge.

Your communication with your kids and their other parent should be open. Listen to what everybody has to say and be considerate of their wants and needs. If you close off those communication channels then it’s only going to hurt your kids.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Families

Is this the first holiday season since your divorce or separation from your ex? You may feel a renewed sense of shame and find yourself comparing your situation to that of the families around you. Avoid this as comparison is the thief of joy.

Every family has its issues and nobody is perfect. There may be issues those families are dealing with that you can’t see on the surface. You can even take advantage of this change in your life and turn it into new holiday traditions. Maybe you won’t get the kids on Thanksgiving day, but you could start a new tradition for the Saturday AFTER Thanksgiving or something along those lines.

You have a chance to be creative and lean into the different circumstances your family is facing. Your kids will appreciate the ambition.

A number of other options can make this a great time of year, including:

  • Talking to your family often
  • Being around friends and family to avoid loneliness
  • Working out a co-parenting gift plan
  • Celebrating the holidays with your ex and children together (when possible)

At Erinakes Law, I want to support your co-parenting journey. I can assist you in coming up with a co-parenting plan and can help you mediate any outstanding issues with your ex. Contact my office before the holidays are already here and it’s too late.

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Erinakes Law, PLLC

Erinakes Law is a dependable Texas family law firm dedicated to helping you resolve your legal matter. I will work closely with you to hone in on your goals and come up with a strategy to find the best outcome for you, your finances, and your children. I have experience in negotiation, mediation, and litigation to resolve your case and protect your rights at every step along the way. These skills will be important to get the result you want, especially when dealing with challenging co-parenting scenarios.

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