Custody issues can become contentious during the holiday season. While you want to spend time with your kids, you must also allow your ex-spouse to share time with them as well. Then there are logistics issues, which can be difficult to decide when you and your former partner are at odds.
The best way to navigate the holiday season is to have a plan in place, according to Forbes. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce stress and increase togetherness when its needed most.
Divide time between parents equally
When possible, both parents should be present during big holidays, like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. If you are unable to make such an arrangement with your ex, split up the holidays equally in a way that makes sense for your family. If you live near each other, consider having kids spend part of the day at one house and the rest of the day at the other. If not, kids can be with one parent during the first part of the winter break, and with the other parent during the second.
Decide who buys what gifts
Regardless of any tension between you, you must confer with your ex when it comes to gift-giving. This prevents you from buying the same presents for your children, which is frustrating. It also allows you to communicate the need for certain items, such as sporting equipment or winter clothing.
Be prepared to change your plan
As your children grow older, their wants and needs must factor into custody plans. For example, a teen might want to spend time with friends over the holidays, and parents should make that concession when it is wise to do so. While it is important to have an official custody and visitation plan in place, a bit of flexibility can go a long way over the holidays.