For family law attorneys, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . fights over holiday parenting time. The holiday season is often a time of stress, and sometimes of sadness, for everyone. For separating or divorcing parents or newly divorced parents, fighting over how to divide holiday time with their children, there is additional sadness and distress. Every year as a matrimonial attorney I see the stress on separating couples and their children as they either try to adhere to traditional holiday celebrations for the sake of their children, or as they try to adjust with their children to the inevitable new traditions that are going to have to be made as parents separate and cannot spend the full holiday season with they traditionally would, but have to share it. The stress can be additional as grandparents weigh in and wish to spend time with their grandchildren, and when one or both parents begin new relationships that pulls on them or whispers in their ear at holiday time as well.
How can you avoid some of the pitfalls of disputes with your “ex” that can derail the holidays with your children? Here, are a few tips:
- Consider the stress and worry that you and your ex are putting the children under when you argue about holiday parenting time. Parents usually want Christmas to be a magical time for the children. It is not magical when they are aware that their parents are fighting over them. Also, children often come to feel that they are the cause or the source of what their parents are arguing over. This can create needless feelings of guilt, worry and unhappiness that can ruin the holidays for them.