Father dropping his daughter off during the holidays.

How to Decrease Co-Parenting Holiday Stress

While we’ve discussed back to school co-parenting, the holidays often bring up another point of stress for newly divorced parents.

The first holiday season divorced can be difficult enough, so having a solid co-parenting plan in place is key to keeping your family feeling as comfortable as possible during this new holiday experience. Here are some tips for co-parenting during the holiday season that can help keep you and your ex-spouse prepared for the big dates coming up.

Planning Ahead is Essential

As you draft up a child custody agreement, make sure that you and your spouse create a plan for how you would like to share the holidays. Different families have different traditions, so planning ahead is the best option for your children.

Drafting up a co-parenting plan like this early on in the divorce process can help alleviate any frustrations that would arise otherwise.

Remember, whatever you have placed in your child custody agreement is going to require legal help from your divorce lawyer if plans need to be changed in the future. This is likely to happen as your children age, so speak with your lawyer and the courts about how to start this process should the need for change arise.

Remain Flexible With Your Co-Parenting Plans

Remember to remain flexible with your ex-spouse as you draft a co-parenting agreement for the holidays. Not everyone is going to get what they want out of the deal, so it’s always important to manage your expectations.

For example, if there are religious differences between your households, or if one member of the agreement has distant relatives they visit every year, compromises will have to be made. You’ll still have your time with your children, it just may not end up on the exact holiday date every year.

Don’t Hide That Things Are Different

New changes after divorce are hard, and sometimes you and your children aren’t always going to be able to grin and bear it through the holidays. This is a natural response for a recently separated family and as a responsible parent, you should address the fact that life is now different during the holiday season.

This honesty opens the door to emotional validation for everyone involved, as well as improved co-parenting communication possibilities between you and your ex-spouse.

Don’t Try to Outspend Your Ex

Gifts can’t replace the fact that you and your ex-spouse are no longer married. Don’t give in to the trope of trying to outspend your ex during the holidays. Doing this can further agitate an already fragile relationship you have with each other as co-parents.

Instead, we recommend coordinating the gifts you each give your children. This doesn’t even have to be an in-person discussion and can easily be achieved via email or text.

If you are planning to initiate a divorce and know that your children will be involved in the process, Nilsson Legal Group is prepared to help you navigate the rough waters of child custody and co-parenting plans. We are experienced Fort Worth divorce attorneys that have helped our clients overcome any obstacle faced during the divorce process.

If you’re ready to work with a divorce lawyer who truly has your best interest in mind, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.