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Your First Holiday Season After Divorce: Survival Tips


One of the differences between childhood and adulthood is that, when you are a child, your anticipation of the holidays is joyful, whereas adults dread the holiday season.  When you are unmarried, you are caught between your parents criticizing you about your single status you’re your dating partner thinking you are being too pushy about introducing your partner to your family.  When you are a newlywed, your in-laws cause so much holiday drama that you are walking on eggshells every holiday season thereafter.  None of these compare to the misery that is Thanksgiving dinner after divorce, when you are stuck being as lonely as you were when you were young and surrounded by critical relatives, or else you are sitting at dinner with sullen children who blame you for all the turmoil in the family.  With time, you will build new happy memories of the holiday season, but the better you manage the legal aspects of your divorce, the less stressful even the early years will be.  A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you draft a drama-proof parenting plan.

Let Your Parenting Plan Lay Down the Law

Trying to make holiday plans is stressful even in ideal circumstances.  Every divorced couple with minor children has a parenting plan, and every parenting plan contains details about the holidays.  Holiday schedules are often the most complicated part of a parenting plan; most parents who celebrate Christmas do not want to give up the right to spend Christmas with their children for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, a typical holiday parenting plan looks like this: “In even-numbered years, the children will spend Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday through Sunday) with Dad, the Christmas holiday (December 23-28) with Mom, and the New Year’s holiday (December 29-January 2) with Dad.  In odd-numbered years, the reverse is true.”  If your ex tries to change the plans at the last minute or bully you out of your court-ordered parenting time during the holidays, you have a legally enforceable document on which you can rely.

Make New Holiday Memories With Your Children

Until you have to spend Thanksgiving weekend without your children, you never realize how special the weekend before Thanksgiving is.  If you cook chicken parmigiana on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, it could become such a treasured holiday memory that your kids will insist on it every year and even cook it for their own children.

Vent About Your Divorce Stress When the Children Aren’t With You

A parenting plan lets you know in advance which days you have to be strong for your kids and which days you can let the eggnog flow as you vent to your friends about all the horrible things your ex did this year.  This may turn out to be easier than when you were unhappily married and trying to keep a stiff upper lip for your children’s sake 365 days per year.

Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting During the Holidays

A South Florida family law attorney can help you draft a parenting plan that will prevent conflict about holiday schedules and enable you to build new, happy memories of the holidays with your post-divorce family.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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