Custody Sharing Through the Holidays
Holidays are a time we often long to spend with family, making memories and celebrating the season together. After a divorce, however, the holidays can be especially painful reminders of the treasured times you once shared with your ex and children together. It can be a challenge to find a way to make the holidays special for you and your children after a divorce. Read on to learn about ways to make the holidays more pleasant for your children and yourself after a split from your co-parent.
Keep the peace: If your divorce is already final, you have likely already made arrangements for which parent will have custody of the children for various holidays. In order to keep the peace and prevent your children from feeling any additional tension between you and your ex, make a special effort to keep your interactions with your former spouse positive and pleasant. Stick to the terms of the visitation schedule you’ve arranged, and ensure that custodial hand-offs are smooth, so that your children can focus on the joy of the holiday, rather than on whether or not one of their parents is angry.
Don’t place too much importance on having your kids on the day of the holiday: If you are recently separated and haven’t yet worked out a formal custodial arrangement, avoid drawn-out fights over who gets to be with your children on the holiday itself, and don’t discuss any discord with your ex in front of the children. Your kids could end up feeling like they’re betraying the other parent by enjoying the holiday with the opposite side of the family.
Embrace multiple celebrations: Instead of focusing on when you don’t have your children, make your own celebration on the day of your choosing. Try to develop new traditions with your children as a solo parent, so that the focus is less on how things used to be, and more on how you can still make new memories and enjoy the holidays together. Having two holidays will allow your children to spend time with even more family members, an important experience after the upheaval of a divorce, and your kids won’t complain about getting to share a special meal twice, or getting double the presents.
If you are facing a divorce in Illinois, find an attorney who will make sure your rights are protected in court, and contact the family law attorneys at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation, in Carol Stream at 630-665-9600, with additional offices located in St. Charles and Chicago.