With the holiday season around the corner, one of the more difficult parts of a custody arrangement is how each parent will spend this special time with their children. Child custody during the holidays is crucial when you create your parenting plan. You need to specifically state where the children will go and when. Here are some things to remember when you are working on these plans:
Take the Children's Desires into Consideration
Although you do not have to make plans based on what the children want, it is good to keep them in mind. You do not want the children to feel resentful if you do not consider their feelings as you hash out your holiday custody arrangements. You should never place your children in the middle and have them choose. Simply ask them their preferences, with the caveat that you and the other parent will make a final decision that is best for everyone. This allows the kids to understand that their feelings matter and that they are a part of the process.
Make Your Plans Early
You do not want to wait until just before the holidays to make custody arrangements. You should know where the children will spend time during the holidays before your divorce is final. However, leave enough time to make any changes if they are necessary. You never know when one of you will have an emergency or if special circumstances arise that require a change. Try not to make any last-minute changes unless they are completely necessary and everyone is on board.
Attempt to Do Everything Without Court Involvement
If you can, make the process more comfortable by making your holiday arrangements between the two of you, along with the considerations of the children. If possible, you should try to avoid going into court to fight over custody, especially before the holiday season. This is a memorable, happy time of year, and neither of you should mar this time with infighting. Instead, decide on what you can do between you and only involve the court when you need to submit your final plans for the court record.
Despite being divorced, you all can still have a happy time with your children during the holiday season. You just have to be reasonable when it comes to your custody arrangement. Try to get along with your former spouse as much as possible for the sake of your children's happiness. Speak with a custody attorney for more information and help with this process.