Coparenting with an ex can be complicated. However, you can co-parent successfully despite the issues you might have with each other. Remembering your child’s needs is critical. They should be able to spend time with both parents. If you and your ex can put aside your differences and create a schedule that works for everyone, co-parenting should be less stressful, especially during the holidays.
Below are some tips you can follow to co-parent effectively.
Put Your Kids First
Whether you have one or multiple children, navigating child custody can be challenging. Even if you and your ex disagree on everything else, you likely agree that your child’s needs are a priority. You want what’s best for them, and it’s important that they enjoy the holidays with each of you.
With the holiday season ahead, remember to put your children’s interests above everything else. Successful co-parenting means giving your ex access to the children during meaningful celebrations. Encourage your ex and kids to spend time with each other. You should also avoid arguing with your ex or bad-mouthing them in front of your children.
Review Your Parenting Plan
You might have created a parenting plan during your divorce or separation. You should refer to it if you and your ex disagree on any aspects of custody arrangements or visitation during the holidays. Although you might decide to modify the plan at a later date, use the current one as a baseline for determining how to co-parent through the holiday season.
There might be a schedule outlining which holidays the children can spend with you or your ex. You should review it before the busy holiday season begins, so you’re on the same page.
Address Potential Issues
You can’t predict what might happen over the holidays but preparing for potential problems is necessary. You might prevent unnecessary arguments and stress if you discuss conflicts that could arise and try to resolve them in advance.
For example, if one of you has a busy work schedule, allow flexibility in the co-parenting plan for last-minute changes. You might have to switch holidays one year because your boss gives you a big project to work on or your ex requests to split a holiday if prior obligations take up more time than expected.
Maintain Open Communication
Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial when co-parenting with an ex. The holiday season is often a busy time. Between preparing large family dinners, attending events, and traveling, talking to your ex might not seem like a priority. However, you should stay in contact with your former spouse if the topic involves your children.
You should give your ex an update on plans you make with the kids, including the dates and times, so they can schedule their own activities accordingly. Sending a quick text can prevent confusion and miscommunication if something unexpected happens or you need to change the original arrangement.
Start a New Holiday Tradition
Many divorced parents struggle with the idea that their holidays will never be the same. It can be devastating to think about seeing your children less and not spending certain holidays with them. However, you should embrace the change.
Instead of dwelling on everything you’re going to miss, consider starting new holiday traditions. This can be an exciting opportunity for your kids to decide what they want to do with the time they have with you and your ex. The holidays don’t have to be a reminder of how things used to be. They can be a fresh start with room for creating new memories.
Speak to a Family Law Attorney Today
Hargrave Law, PC has represented clients in family law matters since 1999. We understand how overwhelming it can be to negotiate the terms of child custody and visitation, especially around the holidays. You can depend on our legal team to help you navigate the complexities of co-parenting, so the holidays are more enjoyable for everyone.
If you want to learn more about creating a holiday custody schedule, call us at 817-282-0679 for a consultation with an experienced and trusted Bedford family law attorney.