Authored by Rebecca Szewczuk
Divorcing is never easy and the holidays are especially difficult when divorcing parents are tasked with dealing with an ex-spouse during this time. Below are some helpful tips for surviving the holidays:
1. Tis the Season to be Kind
There is a reason you are divorcing your spouse, however around the holidays be as nice as you can to your ex. If you are in the middle of the divorce process, allowing your spouse extra time or accommodating their schedule will likely help you later in the case when you need an accommodation or make a request. It is hard for a spouse to get angry when the other parent kills them with kindness.
2. Plan Ahead of Time
If you do not have a holiday schedule in place, plan the schedule well before the actual holidays. There is nothing worse than not reaching an agreement and one parent running into Court with an emergency request for time. Discuss different options for splitting holidays with your spouse. Options may include alternating holidays every year, splitting the actual holiday in half or if you and your spouse are amicable, spending the holiday together for the benefit of your children. Make sure the agreement is in writing. If the holiday schedule is not in the form of a written agreement signed and notarized by both parties, than at the very least, make sure the agreement you reach with your spouse is memorialized in written form such as an email.
3. Reevaluate Your Expectations and Traditions
No doubt you have many holiday traditions with your children that you have grown accustomed to over the years. Understand that moving forward if you and your spouse are alternating holidays, you may not be able to share in your usual traditions every year. Start new traditions with your children, which will help them transition through the difficult time.
4. Speak with an Attorney
If your spouse is unwilling to provide you with equal time with your children during the holidays or refuses to give you parenting time as agreed, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney. An attorney can contact your spouse or their attorney and work out a holiday schedule to avoid future stressful situations with your spouse.