How To Keep the Holidays Harmonious After a Divorce?
The holidays can be an awkward time of year for divorced parents, whether they have been separated for many years or just a few months. Instead of dreading what is to come, there are ways to keep things harmonious for everyone involved. It takes willingness to communicate, some flexibility, a touch of creativity, and careful planning.
Stick to a Holiday Custody Plan
Holiday custody plans are generally part of divorce agreements, so you will want to consult yours to see what is specified. Otherwise, you may want to have something in writing that you and your ex will agree to. Use this calendar to plan your events, and stick to it as best you can. If you need to make changes, communicate with your ex-partner and get any changes in writing.
Let your children know about the custody plan – to an extent they can understand – so they can know what to expect. Seek their input while you are arranging activities, because they might want to spend some time with their friends, have legitimate objections to the plans, or have some ideas of their own. Remember to put your kids first when making your plans, and encourage their feedback.
What About Gift Giving?
Divorced parents and extended family members might try to outdo one another with children’s holiday gifts, but the short-term satisfaction can develop into long-term resentment. Instead of overspending, it makes better sense to set an agreed-upon budget. Have the kids make their lists, and then each parent can make their choices.
Another idea is for both parents (and even grandparents) to pitch in money to buy larger gifts like bicycles and new phones. Getting your ex to agree on that could be difficult but if you approach the subject objectively, you may have success.
How Can I Be Creative with Holiday Celebrations?
It can be hard for divorced parents to share the holidays with their children when logistics come into play. If your ex lives a plane ride away, you may have to be flexible and let the children spend Hannukah with mom and New Year’s with dad. To make your time more memorable, consider swapping out a big turkey dinner with something kid-friendly like a burger, chicken, and fries buffet decorated with bells and bows. Or instead of staying in on New Year’s Eve all night until the ball drops, volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Creating new traditions like these can bond parents and children together, as long as the kids are enjoying themselves. Plan these things out carefully in advance, and ask your young ones if they think the activity is a good idea. Do not be offended if they turn their noses up, especially if they are teenagers. Ask them for ideas, and you might also offer to invite one or more of their friends. Children also enjoy spending holidays with extended family members, so see if your siblings or your parents want to join in on the fun.
The Marlton Divorce Lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Wish All Families a Happy, Harmonious Holiday Season
Divorced parents who make the effort to create magical holidays for their children reap countless benefits, but sometimes problems arise that require legal guidance. For a confidential consultation, contact the caring, skilled Marlton divorce lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Complete our online form or call our Marlton, New Jersey offices at 856-890-9400 for a confidential consultation. We help families throughout South Jersey- Marlton, Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County, and statewide (ART).