For children of divorcing or separated families, the holidays present challenges.
Children often find themselves in the middle of conflict and being torn
between the parties’ two households. Whether this results in the
children splitting their holidays between the parties or at worst unable
to celebrate the holidays with one parent at all, it creates a stressful
and confusing environment for the children. In such situations, the children
are unable to be present in the moment of holiday happiness, emotionally
balancing the fear of a potentially stressful exchange to the other parent
or missing one of their parents. The children deserve to enjoy the holidays
with both parents and they are the ones who truly suffer when parents
are unable to cooperate.
The first step parents can take in remedying the holiday division dilemma,
is to consider the impact of the schedule on the children. The parents
need to set aside what they want for the holidays and instead see the
holiday through the eyes of their children. The children are not going
to complain that they have two Christmas, two Passover, two Thanksgiving,
or two birthday celebrations. Additionally, consider alternating holidays
every other year, such that one parent will enjoy Thanksgiving and a day
near Christmas or Christmas Eve and the other will enjoy Christmas Day
in odd years, or one person gets the first four days of Hanukah and the
other gets the last four days, and then the arrangement will switch for
even years. If the children are young arranging so Santa can come to homes
is important. This will allow both the children and the parents to fully
enjoy the holiday season.
If you are currently involved in a divorce or contemplating a divorce it
is always important to focus on what would be best for your children regarding
parenting time. This is especially true during the holidays. The holidays
are supposed to be a joyful time for all, however, for families dealing
with custody disagreements, the stress of the same can ruin festivities.
Our experienced and passionate family law attorneys are familiar with
local and state laws regarding divorce and the complex and stressful issues
surrounding children in divorce. Our assistance and guidance can help
you with the process. If you are contemplating divorce or already in the
midst and need assistance, please contact our office.