The holidays can be a stressful time of year for just about anyone, but
it can be particularly overwhelming for divorced parents who are trying
to co-parent their way through this supposedly merry season. Effectively
co-parenting is hard enough on its own, but when you throw in gift-giving
and vacations, things can get a little more complex and, if you are not
prepared, it can be easy for life to go haywire.
To avoid holiday obstacles and unnecessary obstacles, start preparing for
the holiday season now. Below is a list of some helpful tips that will
make this merry time of year go a little more smoothly:
Put your children first: Co-parents might get caught up in wanting to ensure the kids spend an equal
amount of time with everyone, which might result in the two of you pulling
them in all sorts of directions. However, this will exhaust them and,
ultimately, prevent them from really getting a chance to relax and connect
with family. It might require some compromise on both ends, but you should
consider focusing on letting your kids make memories rather than fixating
on who they are spending time with.
Plan ahead: Planning goes a long way no matter what you are doing. If you do not already
have a parenting plan that dictates how the holidays are to be spent,
then you and your former spouse need to sit down and have that discussion
as soon as possible. Even if you already have a parenting plan in place
that addresses the holidays and other special events, you should both
be open to adapting to the needs of your children, especially as the years
pass. What works for your children this year, might not work a few years from now.
Be flexible: While it is absolutely important to plan ahead, you will still need to
be somewhat flexible, especially during the holidays when unexpected events
might occur that call for some changes in the schedule. For example, if
you have the kids on a day when your ex-spouse wants to see them and you
do not have anything special planned, consider swapping days. Goodwill
gestures like these will allow you and your former spouse to build a stronger
and more cooperative relationship as co-parents, which your children will
immensely benefit from.
Coordinate gifts: Instead of getting into the competitive holiday spirit of who can afford
the more expensive gift, coordinate your gifts. Discuss the number of
gifts the children are allowed to have, the price range, and if any gifts
are off-limits or inappropriate. You should also share these rules with
your in-laws to ensure everyone is on the same page and no one is attempting
to outdo the other. This will also help prevent your children from developing
an unhealthy sense of entitlement.
Remember to care for yourself: The holidays are not just about schedules and taking care of the children;
they are also about taking care of yourself. Going through a divorce is
a difficult and emotional experience and having to co-parent as a newly
divorced parent will probably be stressful, so set some time aside to
care for yourself and ensure that you are getting enough sleep, exercising,
eating healthy, and spending time with friends and family. The better
you care for yourself, the more capable you will be of caring for your
children and others in your life.
Family Law Attorneys in Houston
If you and your spouse are going through a
divorce or are in the midst of any other family law matter, you need to hire skilled
legal representation as soon as possible to ensure your interests are
protected. At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our team family law
attorneys in Houston is dedicated to fighting on behalf of clients who
are going through the divorce process. Backed by over 30 years of legal
experience, you can trust that your case will be in good hands with our
compassionate and knowledgeable team.
Get started on your case today and
reach out to our law firm at (713) 936-2300 to schedule a consultation.