With November here, many of us are looking forward to Thanksgiving and spending time with family. But if you are a parent in the middle of a divorce, you might be dreading not just Thanksgiving but the holiday season that follows. You know that the traditions you had built when your family was intact will be gone, and the thought of spending any of the holidays alone or away from your children might be overwhelming.
There is good news, however. You and your children will get a chance to develop new traditions and routines, just as your soon-to-be ex-spouse will. This first year of being separated or divorced will be tough on everyone, but you can try something new and create new memories.
Creating a Custody Plan for Holidays
Even if you are in the early stages of a divorce, you have probably thought about or talked about how you and your ex will share child custody. Creating a thoughtful holiday custody schedule will help not just you, but more importantly the children, transition into your new life after divorce. Here are some things to consider when you devise a holiday custody schedule.
- When will the children be out of school for the holidays? What does their extracurricular activity schedule look like?
- How much time from work will you and your ex be able to take off during the holidays?
- Is either of you planning to travel during the holidays?
- How will you incorporate visiting both sides of the extended family?
- What holiday traditions do your children enjoy the most? What new ones could you try?
Some parents may choose to alternate years when sharing holidays, and others may choose to divide the day between both parents. For some parents, Thanksgiving may not be that important to them, but it's a huge celebration for their ex-partner's extended family, so they agree that the children will spend every Thanksgiving with that parent.
The important thing is to document all the details, especially when and how your children will be transported from each location. This is crucial if either of you is planning on traveling and taking the children with you.
Documenting the holiday custody schedule in writing will be part of your parenting plan in the divorce. As the years go by and the children age, or if circumstances change (one parent moves out of state with a new job, etc.), you can always ask a dedicated family law attorney to help you modify the custody agreement.
Trusted North Carolina Child Custody Attorney
Dividing the holidays is one of the hardest aspects of divorce. Coming up with a schedule that makes everyone happy can be difficult, especially if you and your ex are not on the best terms. Contact Jerkins Family Law today if you need help working out an arrangement with your ex. Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins has the experience and insight to help you draft a thorough and effective holiday custody schedule. Just because the family is different this year, you still have a lot to be thankful for.