When you are a parent, you have a few more things on your plate during divorce. You and your ex need to figure out things like child custody, child support and serving your child's best interests. While you might have taken the time to create a custody agreement that reflects those interests, it is possible that you forgot to think about something -- the holidays.
The last few months of the year are packed with a number of holidays. Even though you are divorced, you still want to spend time with your children during these special days. If you have not created a custody schedule for the holidays -- or if your current arrangement does not work for the upcoming year -- you need to deal with this matter sooner rather than later.
Do I need a different schedule for the holidays?
Your current schedule is working great, so why would you change anything? Well, it is possible that sticking with your regular agreement could mean that your ex gets to spend every holiday with your child, and you may end up spending holidays that you do not really care about together, while missing out on important celebrations for your favorites.
You may also need to take traveling into account. Most people in Colorado enjoy spending time with their families during the holidays, which means road trips and airplane rides to other parts of the state or country. If your current schedule does not allow enough time for travel and visits, then both you and your child may miss important family time.
When should we talk about the holiday schedule?
Ideally, you should start the conversation as early as possible. If at the beginning of the year you already know that you have important plans for the year's holidays, go ahead and tell your ex. You will have fewer opportunities for disputes the sooner you begin talking about your holiday schedule.
You can also create a holiday schedule and include it in your custody agreement. Some parents choose to alternate years with different holidays. Others divide holidays by personal importance or for religious reasons. Ultimately, no two holiday custody schedules will look the same.
What about our family traditions?
Divorce is a difficult emotional process, for both you and your child. You want to give them a sense of stability, so you might be looking forward to recreating your family's favorite yearly traditions. This might not be realistic. Holiday custody schedules do not always align with these plans, so it is important to try to create new traditions with your child.
Even when you and your ex both have your child's best interests at heart, it can be difficult to create a child custody agreement that everyone feels happy with. You may even end up arguing over the details, especially when it comes to splitting time during the holidays. You don't have to handle this difficult matter alone. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through the process, even when it feels impossible.