The holidays are usually stressful for any family; however, they can be far more stressful for divorced parents and their children. How parents cope with visitation and custody during the holidays can go a long way in determining the level of stress that all involved will experience. Here are a few tips to help keep the holidays as stress-free as possible, particularly with regard to the kids and holiday activities.
Include holiday details in a child custody plan
If two parents were able to work together during the divorce process, they likely incorporated plans for their children during the holidays. For instance, perhaps the children will spend Thanksgiving at one home and Christmas at another and then alternate the following year. Whatever the case, if parents included a plan for how to handle their children’s visitation and custody during the holidays and the court approved the plan, the parents will need to adhere to the terms going forward.
Gift giving and festivities
Divorced parents should communicate regularly with regard to the gifts they will give their children for Christmas. Keeping an open line of communication will help parents avoid duplicate presents to their kids and hopefully avoid the stress of returning items, etc. Parents can also work together to purchase larger presents for their children as joint ventures. High-ticket items such as computers, tablets and other pricey products are good examples of how two parents can pool their resources to make their children’s holidays bright.
What happens if the other parent does not follow the rules?
Although parents should try to work together during the holidays for the sake of their children, sometimes, parents defy the existing court order and make plans on their own. When this happens, it adversely affects the family’s plans and causes additional stress. If speaking to the other parent about the situation does not elicit the desired results, a parent may have to take his or her ex-spouse back to court for contempt of the existing court order.