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Making Holiday Arrangements for Children after a Divorce

Making Holiday Arrangements for Children after a Divorce

By Lisa RisnerNovember 23, 2021

The holidays are a joyful time of year when you can enjoy seeing your friends and family. After a divorce, though, it can become a stressful time when you end up arguing with your spouse about how to divide time with your children. To come up with a fair arrangement, let our divorce mediation services handle things for you.

We can help you draft an agreement that solves this issue before it comes up. Careful planning can prevent arguments and confusion when major holidays come around. 

Co-Parenting Basics

Even after your divorce, you will have to share parenting responsibilities with your ex-spouse. Depending on the custody situation, you may frequently drop off or pick up your child at your ex’s home.

Seeing your former spouse can bring up powerful emotions, but it’s essential to stay focused on what is most beneficial to your child. Most divorce agreements aim to include both parents in their children’s lives as much as possible.

This kind of continuity is emotionally beneficial for your children and ensures that they feel supported and loved by both parents. However, it requires hard work from both you and your spouse. If tension and arguing between the two of you surface, your child is likely to notice it.

You’ll need to do lots of planning such as dividing holidays between the two of you. A parenting calendar is a great way to avoid scheduling conflicts and arguments about holiday visits. 

Parenting Calendar

A parenting calendar makes it clear who has custody or visits scheduled with the children and at what time.

Some couples stick to a written schedule, but there are plenty of options to make that schedule easier to refer to. There are apps devoted to custody schedules, or you can write down the dates in a physical planner.

You can set the terms of your parenting calendar during your divorce settlement agreement. A schedule makes sure that each holiday is planned far in advance, which will cut down on stressful arguments.

Scheduling Holiday Visits

When you create your holiday schedules, you’ll need to consult with your ex-spouse. Clear communication between the two of you paves the way for stress-free scheduling. Even if it takes you a while to arrive at an agreement, it’s important for you to be on the same page.

You can alternate holiday schedules from year to year for important religious holidays, birthdays, or school vacations.

Make sure to factor in all the holidays you plan to celebrate, from Easter to Memorial Day. A good rule of thumb is to make plans for religious holidays your family observes, as well as days your children will have off from school.

When you create your parenting schedule in the divorce agreement, be as specific as possible. That document sets expectations and serves as a guide for both spouses. However, you can remain open to some flexibility in real life.

Life happens, and you may on occasion need to switch up your schedule due to work conflicts, illnesses, and other unexpected events. If you keep up clear communication, you can work together to handle these schedule changes responsibly. 

Center the Children in Your Planning

The holidays are a magical time for children. Even if Christmas or the 4th of July have lost some of their lusters for you, your children probably look forward to these special days. Holidays are often emotional, and they are also a time for making memories.

When it comes to major holidays, consider the best way to celebrate them with your children. Some families will simply alternate holidays by the year. You can also split up holidays according to interest—if one parent goes all-out for Thanksgiving, while the other orders take out.

Ultimately, the important thing is to reach an agreement that is consistent and reflects your children’s best interests.

By planning ahead and reaching an agreement with your spouse, you are investing in the future and making sure your child has a positive experience. Not only are you reducing your own stress, but you are also reducing stress for your child.

A stable, reliable schedule creates a sense of overall stability for your children. It also makes things easier for both adults in terms of planning and celebrating!

Mediation for Holiday Arrangements

Divorcing couples can write holiday schedules into their divorce agreements. While you can’t plan for every inevitability, you can set up a strong basis for future discussions and holiday planning.

Mediation involves a neutral third party who can give you and your spouse suggestions on how to go about making important decisions about your divorce. For example, mediation can cover concerns like property division, child support, and spousal support.

If holiday arrangements are a major concern during your divorce, you can enlist the help of a mediator to hash out the details of your holiday plans. You and your ex can decide upon a general approach to the holidays.

For example, you may alternate holidays on a yearly basis. You can also choose to celebrate on separate days, such as Christmas Day with one parent and Christmas Eve with another. Another option is to split your time on the day itself. This last option is best for ex-spouses that live near each other.

Some of this work can be done through mediation, but during future years, you may need to navigate conversations with your ex on your own. Pay attention to the techniques we use during mediation so you can put them to use in future interactions with your spouse.

As your children get older, you can ask them about their preferences for holiday arrangements. That way, they can be part of the decision-making process.

Let an Experienced Divorce Mediation Service Assist Your Children’s Holiday Arrangement

Making holiday arrangements doesn’t have to be stressful. Careful communication and planning can cut down on arguments and holiday angst.

Our divorce Mediation, Newport Beach specialist can help you get started with holiday planning through your divorce agreement. We provide all the services you need to go through with your divorce at an affordable price and a short timeline.

For a free consultation with our specialists, contact us at the Divorce Mediation of California today.

369 San Miguel Dr #100, Newport Beach, 
CA 92660, USA
© 2022 Divorce Mediation of California, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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