In Arizona and throughout the country, people are gearing up for the 2019 holiday season. Perhaps, your plan of events will begin with a Thanksgiving celebration surrounded by family and friends. Then again, maybe you are opting for a quiet, simple holiday this year. Either way, if it is the first holiday season you and your children will share since you finalized your divorce, you might be a bit concerned about your co-parenting arrangement.
Many parents think they have developed a thorough post-divorce, co-parenting plan only to realize (often during a holiday season) they might have been a bit too vague. You might have thought that you and your ex get along well enough to wing it when it comes to special occasions and holidays. You might also wind up being one of many parents who encounter legal problems when winging it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped it would.
An ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure
You’ve likely heard this old cliché before. It might prove true when your goal is to enjoy a peaceful co-parenting relationship with your ex during the holidays. The more details you can work out ahead of time, the less likely you’ll be caught surprised or upset about an issue that arises regarding child custody or visitation during a holiday season.
Does getting divorced mean you have to lose all spontaneity when planning fun activities with your children? For instance, can you no longer decide on a whim to head out to a local farm to buy a Christmas tree without first checking if it is okay with your ex? The answer depends on whether there is an existing court order and what its terms happen to be. You might not want to interrupt your kids’ visit with their other parent to take them on a spontaneous outing.
Agree to work together as a team
You might want to alternate holidays. You share Christmas with the kids one year, then they go to your ex’s house the next year. If you and your co-parent are on good terms, you might consider sharing a few holidays. This way, your children still get to experience special occasions with both parents under the same roof.
The good news is that there are no state laws or regulations that prohibit you and your ex from working out an agreement that fits your goals and needs and also keeps your children’s best interests in mind. You can incorporate a customized holiday schedule into your co-parenting agreement.
If a problem arises
Holidays can be stressful, even when there are no extenuating circumstances to add fuel to the fire. Divorce doesn’t necessarily have to ruin your holidays, but it will likely have a significant impact on you and your kids. If a problem arises, such as if your ex disregards the terms of your court order or tries to keep you from seeing your children on a special occasion, you’ll want to know where to seek support to help resolve the issue.
Most Arizona parents stay closely connected to experienced family law attorneys so that they don’t have to go it alone in court when something happens that prompts a need for litigation.