How to Successfully Manage Shared Parenting Time During the Holidays
There are several steps divorced parents who share custody should take to make the holiday seasons easier on themselves and their children.
According to the American Bar Association, joint custody arrangements allow both parents to make major decisions about their children and joint physical custody arrangements give parents the opportunity to share the time they spend with their children as they see fit. While joint parenting arrangements are often what is best for children after divorce, sharing parenting time during the holidays is often difficult for ex-spouses to manage. However, there are several things divorced parents in Louisiana can do to ensure the holiday season is not a source of contention.
Keep The Children’s Needs In Mind
According to The Huffington Post, divorced parents should keep their children’s wellbeing at the forefront of their priorities during the holiday season. To do this, parents should:
- Ensure their children have the opportunity to spend time with relatives from both their mother’s and father’s side of the family
- Shield their children from any disagreements they have with their former spouse about co-parenting arrangements
- Refrain from making negative comments about their ex-spouse in front of their children
Most importantly, parents should make the most out of the time they have to spend with their children, even if it as not as much as they desire.
Plan In Advance
To ensure sharing parenting time during the holidays is a relatively painless process, parents should start planning well in advance and make their plans as specific as possible. For instance, if parents need to make multiple exchanges between homes, they should be specific about when they will drop their children off and at what location.
The Huffington Post states that in order for co-parenting arrangements to be successful, both parents must exhibit some degree of leniency and flexibility. During the holidays, while parents should try to stick to their pre-determined arrangements as much as possible, they should also be open to changes in their plans if they will benefit their children. For example, if one parent has extended family coming into town, the other parent should consider trading around some of his or her parenting time so that their children have time to spend with these relatives.
Parents may feel the need to compete with their ex-spouse during the holiday season by purchasing more presents for their children than they normally would or letting their children do things they usually wouldn’t allow. However, parents should remember that they cannot buy their children’s love and treating the holidays as a competition can only create problems in the future.
While sharing parenting time during the holidays may be difficult for recently divorced parents, it does not have to be overly stressful or traumatic. If you and your spouse are considering divorce and you are worried about how your children will be affected by a co-parenting arrangement, speak with an attorney who can provide legal guidance and reassurance.