Making Your Holiday Visitation Schedule in Colorado
Holiday plans can get overwhelming, make sure you make your visitation schedule beforehand so everyone knows what to expect.
Divorce is stressful for parents and children alike. Creating a visitation schedule and parenting plan that works for everyone can seem impossible. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Creating a holiday visitation schedule can seem particularly stressful. After all, everyone wants to spend as much time with the children as possible during this time of the year. Between familial responsibilities, community holiday functions, and trying to ensure that the children spend as much time as possible with both parents, it may seem like there is no workable solution. However, with careful planning, active communication, and creative thinking, you and your co-parent can make a plan that works for your family.
Here are some tips for handling child custody and your holiday visitation schedule.
Create a Standard Plan
Sometimes parents choose to alternate who gets the children for which holiday each year. For example, if one parent had the children for Thanksgiving, the other parent would have them next year. Creating a regular plan for your children’s holiday visits will help eliminate conflict regarding whether the schedule is fair. It also allows everyone to know what to expect for the holidays.
Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise
Don’t forget that work schedules are subject to change, so if you don’t want your children to sit at home alone, be flexible and consider work and school schedules. Your regular visitation schedule may need to change for the holidays and that’s okay. Creating new traditions can help reduce the stress of making holiday changes.
Show Each Other Respect
Parents should be respectful of each other. Whether you genuinely get along or not, you need to be able to communicate and work together to make the entire process easier for your children. If you share child custody, you need to know how to communicate with each other.
Concentrate on One Issue at a Time
When you are working on creating a holiday visitation schedule, focus on that issue. If you bring up unrelated issues, it can confuse the issue and cause more problems. That makes it harder to create your holiday visitation schedule. It’s worth considering trying to set aside differences with your ex to create a workable holiday visitation schedule.
Choose Your Battles
Everyone tends to have holidays that they find more important than others. When that’s the case, don’t fight over a holiday just for the sake of fighting. For example, if Halloween is your favorite holiday and your ex loves Thanksgiving, create a rule that allows you to have the holidays you love. Everyone will be happier that way.
Shield Your Children
If your children see you and your ex fighting about the holidays and how they should spend them, they will have negative memories of that time. Shield your children from adult conversations about child custody and visitation schedules. You want them to grow up with happy memories of the holidays.
If changes need to be made to your holiday visitation schedule, talk about it sooner rather than later. The earlier you can iron out who will be where and when the less stressful the holiday will be for all involved.
Focus on Your Own Behavior
You can’t control your ex’s behavior, but you can control how you act. It could be hard to take the high road to prevent arguments, but it can be worth it if the children benefit from you doing so.
Talk to Your Children
Your children may have a particular activity or gathering they look forward to each year. If so, it’s a good idea to try to make sure that they get to attend that function if at all possible. Of course, illness or some other hindrance might come up last minute, but schedule so that the children can attend their favorite events.
A holiday is a stressful time without fighting with your ex. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by remembering that you should enjoy the holidays, too. Try to enjoy time spent with family and friends. The children will remember how their parents did or didn’t handle holiday gatherings, which can affect their home life as they age.
The holidays can be a highly stressful time if you let it. However, if you plan, communicate clearly, and remember to put your children first, it will be easier to spend less time feeling stressed and more time having fun. If you need help modifying or creating your holiday visitation schedule, you can contact the attorneys at Colorado Legal Group at (720) 594-7360.