Holidays are an important time of year for children and thus they are an important part of any parenting plan. One of the most common ways to handle holidays after a divorce is to set up a plan that alternates holidays throughout the year (Dad gets Labor Day, Mom gets Thanksgiving, Dad gets Christmas, and so on). Another popular plan is to assign certain holidays to each parent permanently (Mom always gets Christmas Eve and Dad always gets Christmas, for example). These types of plans give everyone a chance to have some holiday time, but they are often difficult for children because they miss one parent.
Some parents explore other alternatives when thinking about holidays. Particularly in the first few years after a divorce, it can be beneficial to schedule some joint time with both parents on a holiday. Dad might be invited to Mom’s home for Christmas morning, or parents and children might all go to church and brunch together on Easter. Both parents could hold a joint birthday party on the child’s birthday. Separate times can also be scheduled before or after the joint celebration. Combining celebrations has many benefits.
- No one is left out. Both parents have time with the child on the holiday.
- No one has to leave a celebration to drive the child somewhere else.
- Your child gets to enjoy time with both parents on an important day.
- You reinforce the concept that you are still a family, which will help your child feel secure.
Sharing holidays does not work for every family. If you and your ex will end up arguing, this is not a good idea. If neither of you feels comfortable inviting the other into your home, this won’t work for you. This type of arrangement is an excellent transition in the years immediately after a divorce and may be something you gradually faze out as everyone becomes more comfortable, if one of you remarries, or as your child gets older.
The Sampair Group handles divorce and family law cases in Maricopa County, Arizona. Your case matters to us. Call us today.