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.