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Child Custody During the Holidays – Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid Custody Disputes

Girl next to Christmas tree

Co-parenting during the holidays is challenging due to the parties, get-togethers, and other holiday activities that are difficult to schedule when parents live together much less when they are separated or divorced. As enjoyable as the holidays can be, holidays can also be a source of much stress, especially when child custody during the holidays causes arguments and hurt feelings between the parents.

For parents who are in conflict over parenting styles, visitation, or other matters, the holidays can exacerbate the situation. Below are several do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to help make child custody during the holidays less stressful for you and your children.

  • DO take a moment to review your custody order now. Before you find yourself arguing with your ex-spouse regarding the time when he or she should pick up the children, take time to review your custody order now. Most orders specifically address custody during holidays. The first step in avoiding conflict is to understand your legal responsibilities regarding custody during the holidays.

  • DO communicate with your ex-spouse. You may dread conversations with your ex-spouse; however, constructive communication will reduce stress and anxiety related to custody during the holidays. Try to work out disputes regarding custody during the holidays with your ex-spouse by being flexible, to a point. If speaking with your ex-spouse ends in arguments, consider communicating by email or text. DO NOT communicate through your children. As a last resort, communicate through your attorneys.

  • DON’T involve your children in your disputes. Your children should not have any idea that you and your ex-spouse are arguing about custody during the holidays. Do not discuss your ex-spouse with your children, ask your children questions about your ex-spouse to get information, or use your children as a go-between. As far as your children are concerned, you and your spouse should be a united front with regard to holiday plans. Keep your disagreements behind closed doors!

  • DON’T worry if you do not have your children on a specific date. The holidays are not about celebrating on a specific date. Be open to creating new holiday traditions such as opening all gifts on Christmas Eve or celebrating all of Hanukkah in four days instead of eight days. The date you celebrate the holidays with your children is not what is most important — making time with your children enjoyable and creating good memories for your children that last a lifetime is what is most important about the holidays.

  • DO discuss the holiday schedule with your children. Bouncing back and forth between homes is difficult during the year but especially during the holidays. Discuss the holiday schedule with your children in advance to avoid problems. This is crucial for older children who may have plans of their own for the holidays. Accommodating teenagers can sometimes add stress to the challenges of custody during the holidays. The sooner you begin to head off problems the better for everyone.

Jacksonville Child Custody Attorneys Can Help You With Questions Regarding Custody During Holidays

“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”

If you have questions about custody during the holidays, our family law attorneys are here to help you. We understand how challenging child custody issues can be for parents. Contact our office to schedule a confidential, private consultation. We serve clients in Duplin County, Onslow County, and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 405-8459or contact us online.

Image credit: Personal Creations