The holidays are difficult to navigate for many divorced parents. While it is your goal to enjoy a happy and wholesome holiday season, you may find yourself at odds with your former spouse when it comes to custody arrangements.
According to Forbes, the best course of action is to spell out holiday arrangements within your formal co-parenting plan. However, getting to that point can be harrowing for many parents, especially when their divorces are contentious.
Possible co-parenting arrangements
While you can create a holiday co-parenting plan using just about any arrangement that works for you, there are two common options parent’s utilize. The first is alternating years, which allows kids to spend the entire holiday break with one parent during one year, while the other parent gets the child or children the next year. This plan is favorable because it affords parents more time with their kids during the holiday season. However, it can be difficult for parents during off years.
Another option is to divide the time a child spends with each parent during winter break equally. If winter break is two weeks long, you would keep your child one week, while your ex-spouse would get them the for the final week. Parents can also switch holidays, meaning you would have your child for Thanksgiving while your ex would get them for Christmas or Hanukkah.
How to approach gift-buying
If possible, consider collaborating with your spouse on gift-buying and giving. Kids will appreciate opening presents with both parents, as this emphasizes the family togetherness so important this time of year. If it is difficult or inconvenient with you to spend time with your ex, at least discuss gift-buying so you do not give your children the same presents.