Top 3 Tips To Get Through The Holidays When Divorcing
By Adelaide Riggi, Esq. and Stacey A. Cozewith, Esq. on November 19, 2018
As parents of young children, we understand that the holidays are an extremely busy time of year. The holidays can prove to be even more stressful and daunting for those who are divorced or are divorcing. Below are our top 3 tips to help you navigate this Holiday season as stress-free as possible.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead. Do not wait until the week before to decide who has the children for the holiday. It is important to begin communicating with your co-parent well in advance. If you are divorced, pull out your agreement and review the holiday plan. Try not to rely on what you think the plan says or what you and your co-parent did last year, actually read the holiday plan. Communicate your plans with your co-parent in a text or email. If you are in the process of going through a divorce, talk to your attorney and co-parent about establishing a holiday parenting time plan. Discuss your family’s and extended family’s holiday traditions and work to develop a holiday plan which works best for your children.
Tip 2: Be Flexible. You can avoid holiday stress and aggravation by being flexible. You can plan a fun Thanksgiving celebration the day before or the day after Thanksgiving if the children will be with your co-parent on the actual day. The best thing about the holidays, is that each holiday occurs every year. If your children are enjoying Christmas morning with your co-parent this year, you can enjoy Christmas morning with them next year. Try not to be fixated on the actual day, but to enjoy the holiday experience.
Tip 3: Give Your Children the Best Gift. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is good will towards your co-parent. Agree to a ceasefire, at least during the holidays. See if there is anything you can do together as a family during the holidays. This may be as simple as planning a seasonal outing together such as ice skating or pizza after a holiday concert, to sharing a holiday tradition such as opening gifts with your children on Christmas morning or lighting the menorah. Help your children pick-out or create a gift for your co-parent. Nothing will mean more to your child than for you to encourage gift giving to “Mommy” or “Daddy.” Most importantly, at pick-up and drop off, wish your co-parent a happy holiday. It seems so simple, but enjoying a meal or event, exchanging a gift or being cordial to each other makes a world of difference, especially to your children.
If you require assistance with your holiday parenting time plan or with any issue related to your divorce, please contact our skilled matrimonial partners, Adelaide Riggi, Esq. and Stacey A. Cozewith, Esq. Both Adelaide and Stacey practice exclusively in the area of family law and are certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as matrimonial law attorneys.
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