Avoiding the holiday drama: practical advice for co-parents

Avoiding the holiday drama: practical advice for co-parents

4409757_S.jpgLater this week, families throughout Illinois and the United States will gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. For parents who are recently divorced or going through a divorce, this holiday season is likely to be filled with many challenging firsts including having to communicate and coordinate with one’s ex or soon-to-be ex-spouse and not spending the entire holiday with one’s children.

Even under the best and most normal of circumstances, the holiday season can be an extremely hectic and stressful time for families. Long hours spent traveling, sleeping away from home and attempting to get along with members of one’s extended family are just some of the common challenges shared by many during this time of year. For recently divorced or separated parents, these issues are further complicated and compounded by trying to figure out and agree upon holiday custody and visitation arrangements.

For co-parents who are dreading dealing with the many divorce-related changes this holiday season, it’s important to keep the focus on one’s children. Even though a parent may be sad and angry about not being able to spend Thanksgiving day or night with his or her children, for the sake of the children and their general happiness and wellbeing, it’s important to put on a brave face. Failing to keep emotions in check will not only ultimately ruin one’s own holiday, but also potentially the holiday of one’s children who are likely already feeling upset and angry about splitting time between parents.

To makes things as easy as possible for shared children, co-parents are advised to do their absolute best with regard to communicating, cooperating and coordinating with one another. Of course it’s not just about going through the motions, but also about one’s delivery and true intentions. To avoid ugly disputes and outbursts, co-parents are advised to be respectful and cordial when communicating and interacting with an ex.

Divorced or separated parents who are dealing with custody disputes or who have questions or concerns about an existing custody arrangement would be wise to reach out to an attorney for assistance. These types of issues are highly emotional and it’s best to involve a third-party who is well-versed in all child custody laws.

Source: The Huffington Post, “8 Tips to Make Holiday Parenting Time Less Stressful,” Daniel Clement, Nov. 9, 2015

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