Some of the most joyful and memorable times for children happen during the holidays. It’s a season for families to be together, but it has the potential to be anything but jolly for parents who share custody of their kids and can’t agree on a holiday schedule.
Both parents should strive to put aside past disagreements that led to the breakup and any drama lingering from the split. Parents should agree to work together and put their children first to make sure they can enjoy the true spirit of the holidays.
Setting a reasonable holiday parenting schedule
When Pennsylvania parents can’t agree on a parenting plan, they must follow the custody order stipulated by the court. Major holidays are typically handled in three ways:
- Co-parents alternate years for having their kids during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks
- Co-parents share time equally
- Both parents celebrate the holiday together with their kids as a family
While it’s essential for parents who don’t see eye-to-eye to follow a custody order, many former partners agree to a more flexible arrangement and adjust the plan when it makes sense.
Tips for keeping your cool during the holidays
Divorce brings intense emotions, but parents should never unleash negative feelings around their children. Here are some other things to consider:
- Don’t put your kids in a position where they feel they have to choose between parents
- Don’t speak negatively about the other parent in front of your children
- Talk to your co-parent ahead of time and calmly work out an agreeable schedule
- Try to provide a sense of continuity for your kids even though things are different
- Discuss gifts ahead of time and agree to spending limits
- Talk to each other about any issues, don’t text or email
- Allow kids to have contact with both parents’ extended family
Child custody orders are in place for a reason when parents can’t get along. However, a good sign that you’re both providing peaceful households for your children is by keeping the order in a drawer and working together, staying flexible and adapting to any challenges that arise.