How to Navigate Holiday Visitation Schedules

The holidays mean different things to different people. For some, it’s the best time of year. For others, it’s a stressful period full of family drama. Here are a few helpful hints for parents who are going through a divorce, or already divorced.

Stick to the Schedule

If you have a parenting schedule things are easier. You always want to have the parenting schedule in writing and agreed to by both parents in advance of the holidays. This can be done a couple of ways. If the formal divorce process has not yet begun, then you must agree on a parenting plan yourself. If you have a family attorney, they can help with this.

When you create the schedule, take a look at the entire year as a whole to determine a comprehensive visitation plan. Your parenting plan can be as broad or specific as you wish. The point is that both parents must agree, or it won’t be successful.

Christmas doesn’t have to happen on Dec 25

If you find yourself arguing over who gets to spend the day with the children, take a step back and remember it’s not about the calendar date. In other words, you make the day special no matter if it is Dec. 26 or Dec. 30. Whatever day you spend with the kids, you can make that just as special as December 25th. Don’t get too caught up on the actual day.

If you can be flexible with your time, it may not be worth the fight, aggravation and effect on the children.

Communicate with the Other Parent

It may seem impossible for some people to get along with the other parent, especially if you are recently divorced or separated. However, if you have children, you must do your best to communicate effectively.

Good communication (or at least some communication) is key to ensuring you will minimize the amount of time you spend fretting over where your “littles” will be eating turkey and opening gifts.

Remember to think of this holiday season as an opportunity to create new traditions and to create great new memories with your children. Wishing you a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

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