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What divorcing parents need to know before the holidays

Posted on October 14, 2013 in the Child Custody category.

The leaves turning colors and cooler temperatures should do more than signify that fall is here. It should also tell you that the holidays are just around the corner. For divorced parents (and those who are separated) the holiday season is arguably the most difficult time of the year. Not only is it difficult to manage expectations for family members, shepherding kids through an awkward period can be tricky as well.

To avoid emotional blowups and disappointments, parents should do their best to plan…and plan early. This post will provide a few tips to help parents along.

Get the lay of the land early – Figuring out what your family, and your ex’s family, has in store for the holidays is really important in helping you to plan. Perhaps no one has made plans (which gives you the opportunity to set the agenda), or your ex insists on controlling where the children will be (in which you may have to file a parenting time motion).

Be flexible – For those facing intractable spouses who refuse to budge, you should remember that the holiday season is a collection of days; meaning that a particular holiday can be celebrated whenever you are together. For example, Christmas can be on December 27th if necessary.

Be careful with rhetoric – Nothing makes negotiations more difficult than tough talk and ultimatums. While your ex may be as pleasant to deal with as a root canal, trashing him or her in an attempt to get the parenting time you want during the holiday may not be helpful.

Source:, “Holiday season approach – What divorcing parents need to prepare for“, October 8 2013