The winter holidays are right around the corner. This is usually a time when families in Los Angeles gather and spend time together. However, the holidays can be difficult for families when parents are divorced. Figuring out which parent will get custody of the kids for the holidays can cause a lot of strife and pain. This can be particularly true when one parent is awarded a larger custody percentage than the other parent.
Avoid miscommunication and conflict by keeping the focus on your family with these 3 essential tips for planning holidays year-round.
Define essential holidays clearly and comprehensively
Every family has their own unique holiday schedule. Within each family, co-parents may even have their own individual approach to annual holidays and celebrations. You may have a particular attachment to Labor Day, for example, while your co-parent simply views it as just another 3-day weekend. Defining which holidays will be included in your special planning, and whether or not each holiday is celebrated by both co-parents, is the first step in building a comprehensive holiday schedule.
Before the season begins, parents should reflect critically on which holidays are most important to them individually. When parents are separated, there will always be some give and take involved, so both parents will have to make compromises.
If you find yourself in a situation where one holiday is of particular importance to both you and your co-parent, stay open-minded and think of cooperative solutions that will allow both of you to celebrate with your children. That could mean splitting a day between the two of you if location permits it. Or, using New Year’s as an example, one parent celebrating with their children New Year’s Eve while the other holds their festivities on New Year’s Day.
Prepare yourself and your kids as holidays approach
As holidays draw near, your child, who is likely starting to feel very excited for the upcoming celebration, will want to know where they will be spending the holiday. It’s important to help them understand their holiday schedule well in advance so they are not surprised by events. Talk to them early about where they will be spending time on each major holiday, answering any questions and calming any concerns that may arise. Make a point to remind them periodically of holiday arrangements as dates approach, too.
Remember Child Support Is For the Child
When parents fight over child support it is easy to forget that the payments are made for the benefit of the child. Lines can be blurred when tempers are high, particularly when a parent is required to pay both child support and alimony. A court will not order a parent to pay child support if it does not believe that it is truly in the best interest of the child.
Create your holiday blueprint
Once you and your co-parent have laid out the holidays and celebrations that will be included in your schedule, it’s time to start planning how they will be shared between the two of you. This often necessitates thinking multiple years in advance, as many co-parents trade off having their children with them on certain holidays year by year.
After you and your co-parent have agreed to a holiday schedule, document it immediately on a shared calendar.
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Divorce cases are very difficult and complex. You need an experienced Los Angeles Family Attorney to guide you through the legal process. Contact our law firm today at 562-439-9001 if you or someone you know needs the help of an experienced family law attorney. We will be here for you when you call. Schedule a free consultation!
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This is intended as general advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Each situation is unique and requires specific analysis of relevant contracts, facts and legal obligations.