Handling the holidays after a divorce
The holidays can be a challenging time for Missouri parents who have recently gone through a divorce. Scheduling plans with extended family members can be difficult to sort out at any time, but this is especially true if the child custody situation is still settling into place. Both parents’ families may have traditions that they want the children to be part of, and as a result, the kids may become the center of a battle for control of the holidays. As with other issues dealing with family traditions and parenting time, it is important for divorced parents to put the kids first.
When parents do not focus on the needs of the kids, it can be easy for the holidays to become just another subject for ongoing arguments about the divorce. Parents may feel that they need to “win” the battle of holiday planning with the other parent. As a result, their children may feel even more hurt and confused. As much as possible, parents should work together to put their differences aside and make a plan for the winter holidays. Children benefit from a strong relationship with both of their parents, and the holiday season should give them plenty of close time with both sides of the family.
It can also be important to coordinate about gifts. Parents should not try to compete with one another over the types of gifts they can provide. The holidays can be a challenging time for co-parenting, but they are also an important time to make positive memories for the kids and show them that their parents can put them first.
The adjustment to divorce can bring many changes for families. A family law attorney may be able to work with a divorcing parent to negotiate a fair child custody agreement that protects the parent-child relationship.