The holidays can be a stressful time for everybody, but they can be much worse for divorced parents. In addition to the holiday season reminding you that things with your family are not the same anymore, there are many things you have to plan and account for. This can range from checking the fine print of your final papers and parenting agreement to simply emotionally preparing yourself to see your children…or, worse, to not see your children.
Below is a list of practical preparations you can make to enjoy the holiday season, from the Law Office of David Pedrazas.
Preparing for Holidays as a Divorced Parent
The absolute most important thing you can do to prepare for the holidays is to take out your final orders and review them. Orders may have very specific agreements regarding things like custody and visitation on holidays, and many divorced parents can easily forget what they originally agreed to. After reviewing the final orders, it’s very important for you to develop a plan. Even if you will not be with your children during the holidays, they are likely to worry about you. Letting them know that you have plans to be with your friends, parents, or others who care about you helps ensure that your children can enjoy their own holiday without worrying about yours.
Holiday Season Do’s and Don’ts
In order to enjoy a holiday free of headaches, it’s important to adopt some specific “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to the season. These simple tips can help make the holidays easier, and minimize the stress that comes with co-parenting.
Holiday Season Do’s:
- Be flexible and willing to compromise–scheduling is not about trying to “win”
- Make sure all holiday plans take your parenting agreement into account
- Create new traditions. It can feel odd and possibly sad to try to replicate old traditions, but creating new traditions can help everyone move on
- Help your children pick out gifts for your ex. This establishes an amicable relationship and can help reassure children worried about parental fighting
Holiday Season Don’ts:
- Don’t let your children get dragged into any conflict with your ex
- Don’t stop taking care of yourself. This can be a stressful time, but getting enough to eat and enough sleep can help you enjoy this time
- Don’t think you can change or highly influence your ex–remember, there is a reason that the two of you divorced
- Don’t focus on the time you won’t have with your children. Being grateful for what time you DO have is the first step towards enjoying the holidays
Contact David Pedrazas for Help with Legal Holiday Woes
Even the very best plans for the holiday season may not cover absolutely everything, and you never know what surprises might pop up. Don’t forget that you can contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas here, or call us at 801-263-7078. These are expert professionals when it comes to handling anything related to divorce and other family law matters. Remember, the primary way to make it through the holidays as a divorced parent is to have a plan and stick to it, and there is no better plan than knowing that you have family law experts in your corner to assist you with any needs that you may have.