Handling Holidays When You Are Divorced

divorce child in the middle

It is that time of year when kids finish school and winter break begins.  Usually stress-free time, for kids in divorced families these can be stressful times, with parents arguing over which one should have certain holiday time with certain family members.

How can divorced parents make the holidays easier for everyone?

Parents should begin with a simple reality:  Unless the parents want to share holiday time together, the parents will have to divide up the time from the end of school to the resumption of school.  How a family divides up that time determines who will be in a celebratory mood.

Before entering the divorce agreement, parents should give serious thought to how they want to spend this holiday time.  Think about the main criteria:  are my family in town or out of town, and how much do I want to see them during the holidays?  Do I want to take a vacation?  Is the religious part important to me?  Answering these questions will get you to your main priorities and help decide what type of division of time you would like.

For example, if both parents are religious, they could divide up Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, alternate each year and allow the children to attend each year one religious service with each parent.  If one parent lives out of town, this could be a real issue that makes this a bit impracticable (although if feasible, an out of town for one or the other could work).

If people are not as concerned with the religious and more concerned about family visits, parents should structure time to accommodate visiting both families if possible.

If one parent wants the religious and one a vacation, it’s easy – do the religious first with one parent, the vacation after with another parent.

Tailoring the winter break to the preferences of the individual family is the key.  If you get that worked out in advance, all your holidays will be bright and merry.

If you have questions about holidays and divorce, contact us – we can help.

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