Divorce and/or separation can make the holidays more stressful, but with a little cooperation and planning they can be enjoyable for everyone – most importantly the kids.

Coordination Is Key

Depending on your situation, there are many ways to approach how you spend the holidays with your kids.  You may want to coordinate one parent having the children on Thanksgiving while the other has them for Chanukah or Christmas.   Another option is to split all the holidays.   Yet, another option is to alternate the holidays with one parent having the kids in odd-numbered years and the other parent having them in even-numbered years.   There is no right or wrong – it is whatever works best for your family.   If your relationship with your ex, or soon-to-be ex is amicable or at least civil, you may have flexibility in arrangements – but it is best to work these things out ahead of time to avoid conflict or confusion.

Book Travel Time

For some, the holidays aren’t always spent at home.  Families may use this opportunity to go on vacations or visit relatives out of town.  If one parent wants to take the children away an agreement can be worked out.  For example, if Dad wants to take the kids away during Christmas break this year, Mom can do so next year.  If you plan on traveling internationally with your child, remember that the cooperation and written consent of both parents is required.    If either parent is travelling with the children, the other parent should be provided with an itinerary and be able to communicate with the children while they are away.

There is No Right or Wrong

What works for one family may not work for another and that is okay.  Your arrangements need to suit your unique family dynamic.  Being newly divorced or separated will give you the opportunity to create new holiday traditions with your kids and still hold on to some of old ones.

If you have questions or concerns, it is always best to consult with your attorney.  We are here to help.