When a couple with children goes through a divorce, they develop a parenting plan. In this parenting plan they decide how they will handle the visitation schedule, and specifically, the holidays. When creating your schedule, there are lots of options for how to handle this time of year. It is important to remember that this schedule changes as the children grow up and have different needs. We wanted to remind you of just some of the options you have.
-Alternate major holidays. Some parents have the kids on Thanksgiving one year and on Christmas the next. This allows for the children to be with their parent for the entire holiday. This is typically what parents choose if they do not live in the same area.
-Split the holiday. You can have your kids spend half the day with you and the other half with the other parent. This requires more coordination and flexibility, but allows for everyone to have some time together during the holidays.
-Pick different days to celebrate. Believe it or not, a holiday can be whenever you want it to be. Some parents choose to celebrate the weekend before a major holiday.
-Spend it together. Yes! You can choose to get together with your children in order for them to not have to be moved around and for you both to have time with your kids. This actually does work in families where the parents divorced amicably. We find that in mediated cases this is more likely than in those that went to court.
-Let them choose - Your children might be old enough that they have a preference. Depending on the age of the children, this could be okay for you both. One family I know of, one parent always did a big ski trip for a holiday. The teenagers really loved this trip as it was an annual tradition. The other parent was fine in letting them go and celebrating later when the children returned from their trip.
This is the beauty of mediation. You really can take time and consider all of your options. You can change things as needed and it can be done without the stress of hiring an attorney to take the other parent to court. If you want to modify your parenting plan, give us a call. We can help mediate. May you enjoy your holidays!