While it is the season of joy and togetherness, it is also a time of year that divorced or separated families may find it difficult to navigate the holidays, especially with COVID-19 still plaguing us. For most parents, it is paramount that they spend the holidays with their children.
This is not always feasible when there is shared custody with the other parent, and a holiday schedule does not allow each parent to celebrate all of the holidays each year. It is important to be prepared to work through this issue.
Holiday schedule post-divorce
It can be a difficult shift going from seeing one’s children daily to half of the time, or even slightly less than full time. While some can acclimate to these changes after a parenting plan has been in place for some time, other parents may feel digression during the holidays. It can be difficult spending the holidays alone, which can give rise to custody disputes during the holidays.
For some, holiday schedules provide access to the child by one parent only. Whether this is a set day and time each year or a set day on even or odd years, this schedule should remain in effect so long as it is feasible.
Creating consistency is important for a child, and changing things can sometimes cause a negative emotional impact.
Changing holiday custody orders
While it is important to create structure and predictability for the child or children, this may not always be feasible. Traditions may change, children may have different wants as they get older, and other factors may play into the need to modify an order to make changes for one season.
Navigating family law matters is never easy. Even when divorced parents can communicate well and collaborate, these can still be emotional issues to work through, especially during the holiday season.