Arizona fathers may find that the holiday season becomes a bit more stressful when they share custody of the kids with their ex-wives. However, it is possible for people to successfully co-parent and make this season a bit more peaceful.
Most parents already have a document that lays out where the kids will spend each holiday. Divorce magazine says it is a good idea for dads to go over this agreement so they know when they will have the kids. If people have not written down a holiday schedule, they may want to meet or talk on the phone to figure out how they will handle the holidays. Additionally, some fathers may have traditions they enjoy with the kids, and it is a good idea to make sure this arrangement includes these traditions.
While most dads want to spend every moment of the holidays with their children, it is important to consider what is best for the kids. Young children may quickly get tired if they have several family events on Christmas Day, for example. Fathers may want to celebrate with their kids on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day if their ex-wife’s family has many events planned for Christmas Day.
The holiday season may be a bit more peaceful if a father remembers that his ex-wife is also missing out on special moments with the kids. According to Fatherly.com, it may be a good idea if dads find a way to include the children’s mother in events. Some fathers may want to take pictures during holiday events so the children’s mother does not feel excluded. Additionally, dads could help the kids make presents for their mom. These small steps may help preserve the peace between parents.
Four Tips For Newly Divorced Fathers During The Holiday Season
1. Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse Efficiently and Civilly
While it is common for many divorced couples to have trouble communicating, try your best to keep your communication succinct, cordial, and in writing. Following these guidelines will help you effectively communicate with your ex and will allow you to reference what you both agreed to so that each party can be held accountable to the plans that were made. For example, if you and your ex agree that your child should be picked up from your home on Thanksgiving at 2 pm, it lessens the likelihood that your ex will try to pick up your child at 12 pm. Furthermore, if your ex does not stick to preplanned arrangements, and you share custody of a child, an experienced family law attorney can help you build a case in family court, especially if you have a written record of your communication with your former spouse. This is also why you should keep your communication succinct and cordial- in case matters escalate to family court. Refrain from fighting, name-calling, or general rude verbiage over email or text. Instead, try speaking to your ex as you would an acquaintance or coworker by keeping your tone polite and brief.
2. Remember To Keep It About The Children
While the holidays can be a very happy time for many, they also oftentimes bring stress. Pairing holiday stress with trying to navigate how to split the holidays between divorced parents can be a downright challenging task. Try to keep in mind that holidays should be a happy time for children that they can look back on with fond memories. Try to keep fighting with your ex to a minimum and instead, navigate your words and actions carefully to ensure that your children are the top priority. Additionally, try to accommodate your children’s wishes in regard to which family members they see and when. If your children are looking forward to a special holiday tradition with your ex-wife’s family at a certain time while you have them, try your best to figure out how you can make that happen. This could also work in your favor if your ex views you as accommodating, she will hopefully return the favor when the occasion arises.
3. Create New Traditions
If you’re a newly divorced dad who has found himself reminiscing of past holidays and aren’t sure how to navigate future holidays, try creating new traditions with your children that are special to you. From small traditions like making pancakes on Christmas morning to bigger traditions like taking a drive to Northern Arizona to see the snowfall on New Year’s Day, creating new traditions with your children will help establish a new normal post-divorce. It’s important for newly divorced parents to show their children by example that while the holidays will now be different, they will still be filled with happy memories and love.
4. Have A Backup Plan
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned no matter how much effort went into the preparation. While this is unfortunate and frustrating, try not to let it get the best of you. Instead, have a plan B for when things don’t go according to plan. Also, if your custody agreement gives your ex-spouse a holiday that you were looking forward to spending with your children, such as Christmas, plan instead to have your Christmas when they return to your home and implement some of your new traditions that are discussed in the previous section. Additionally, you can celebrate the season with them instead of just one day by taking them to one of the many holiday festivities that Arizona’s East Valley offers such as:
- Drive-thru Christmas lights
- Holiday parades
- Christmas plays
- Ice skating
Bryson Law Firm Is Here to Help
While the holidays after a divorce takes some getting used to, they don’t have to be gloomy. There are many ways to make special days and holidays work post-divorce. However, the unfortunate truth is that some divorces are more difficult than others. If you are having a challenging time getting on the same page with your former spouse, Brent Bryson is an experienced family law attorney who can help. Whether you’re in need of legal advice regarding your custody agreement, or are looking for an attorney to help you navigate mediation, Bryson Law approaches every case with you and your child as the top priority. Contact Arizona’s premier family law attorney today by calling 480-813-0444, or fill out our convenient online form, and the Bryson team will get back to you as soon as possible.