Custody agreements are in place for a reason: to avoid disagreements and extra drama that can have a negative effect on your child or children. During the holidays, things may get a bit hairy when both parents want to see their child and spend time as a family. To help prevent an issue with your visitation, read on for some helpful tips.
Follow The Visitation Schedule
The visitation schedule in important to follow to avoid confusion and drama. If you have Christmas with your child one year, the following year you most likely will not have Christmas with your child. The alternating years allows you to see your child and the other parent to have this holiday time with your child as well. Some schedules may also allow the eve of the holiday with one parent and the actual holiday with the other parent. Follow the schedule you are given to avoid any issues and to ensure your child enjoys their holiday.
Communicate With Your Ex
Communicate about the upcoming holiday schedule with your ex. This can be done via phone, by text or e-mail, or even through your attorneys if talking to your ex ends in an argument or a shouting match. Never use your child as a message deliverer for you. Your child should never be involved in any communication between you and your ex.
Make Your Own Traditions
Just because you don't have your child on the actual holiday doesn't mean you can't make it a special day. Make your day with your child fun and celebrate the holiday as you would if it were the actual holiday. Create your own traditions with your child, have fun, and make memories. Your child is going to remember the fun times.
Be Open With Your Child About Where They Will Be Spending The Holiday
The schedule and where your child will be on the holiday should be discussed with your child. This way they aren't surprised that they won't be home with you and they'll have a heads up about this. It helps mentally prepare your child. Let your child know that they will have a good time at the other house as well so they aren't feeling anxious about being gone during the holiday.
There may be confrontations or arguments with your ex, or even anxiety for you during the holidays, but don't put your child in the middle of any of this. Give your child the best holiday no matter when it's celebrated. Talk to your child custody attorney about other co-parenting tips during the holidays that may be helpful.