During a divorce, there can be a lot of trial and error as you figure out your custody routine. Ideally, you and your ex will have clear temporary custodial terms that help you avoid issues as you share time with your children. Even under less contentious circumstances, getting through the holidays with your kids during divorce can be challenging. The good news is that there are ways to help make the process run smoother while sharing holiday time with your children.
Get Ahead of Your Kids’ Holiday Schedule
When you have school-aged children, it’s important to stay on top of their days off from school so you can plan for their care. You and your ex should have some idea of when your kids will be out of school and if you have any holiday plans. The sooner you can communicate and coordinate, the better. For instance, if your children will be out of school the week of Thanksgiving and for three weeks for the winter break, and you don’t have a temporary order addressing this time frame, you should start working on your schedule as soon as possible. By getting ahead of your holiday schedule, you can help avoid conflict.
Be Patient as You Figure Out your Routine
During your divorce, you and your ex will probably have separate holiday celebrations and events. This may be new territory for you and your children. Adapting from spending the holidays together as a family to doing so separately can be stressful for kids and parents. It may help to remember that it is a big change for everyone involved. Parents may be short-tempered, kids may have more emotional reactions about and during their transitions, and having holiday celebrations apart may feel strange. Reminding yourself to be patient may help as you and your kids adapt to your new circumstances.
Be Flexible When Possible
Having a new routine where parents divide time with their kids may conflict with long-standing holiday events and traditions. For instance, you, your ex, and your kids may have always had Thanksgiving with your in-laws. Your family may have also planned to travel and stay with grandparents over the winter break. Now that your circumstances have changed, you and your ex may need to adjust your traditional and original plans. At the same time, your kids rely on structure, and knowing what to expect provides stability.
For now, it’s important to recognize that your kids are going through a lot of difficult transitions and that it may be best to make decisions that help maintain their winter plans. If possible, work with your ex and extended family to minimize conflict and disruptions during your kid’s holiday time. Being flexible while trying to work together for the good of your children can be beneficial for everyone.
Even under routine conditions, sharing custody during divorce can be taxing. Balancing kids’ and parents’ schedules can become even more challenging when you add holidays to the equation. At the same time, you and your children will be navigating the emotional aspects of your changing family dynamics. Getting through the holidays with your kids during divorce can be hard, but it is possible.
There is no perfect blueprint for how holiday schedules should work during a divorce. However, there are ways to plan ahead and minimize conflict. By working with an experienced California divorce attorney, you can get the advice you need regarding your case, temporary orders, custody, and other important issues that may impact you and your kids.
Contact an Experienced California Child Custody Attorney
If you have a California child custody concern, you should meet with a California divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss the matter. Your divorce lawyer can help you evaluate your custody situation and determine your temporary and permanent options.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced California divorce and child custody attorneys who can help you during and after your case. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website.