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A Top Ten List For A Happy Holiday, Even In Divorce

After a couple gets divorced, if there are children, their lives are still connected. There will be birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and holidays to share for the rest of their kids’ lives. Some divorced parents are able to pull off these occasions without conflict, while others are not as lucky. For those that are able to come together and continue to share the responsibility for their kids, life is much easier. In the spirit of the holidays, a few tips on how to have a happy holiday, even in divorce is in order.

A few tidbits of advice from a top ten list for making your holidays bright, for yourself and your kids includes the following:

  • Remain flexible, because plans are bound to change. If you are able to “go with the flow”, you will find yourself less stressed and better equipped to handle any disappointment your child may face from a changed schedule.
  • Keep you kids and your ex advised about the plans. When everyone is on the same page, things seem to go smoother. This is especially true if your plans include out of state travel, or the need to be at more than one place on the same day.
  • Avoid trying to “out give” your ex, while the temptation may be great to give your kids a better gift than your ex is able to, most times this tactic backfires. Children, particularly older children, are keenly aware of when their parents are “playing games” with one another and attempts to do so can result in resentment.

If you are giving it your all, yet your ex is particularly difficult, you may need to seek help from a family law professional to make sure your holidays go off without a hitch. In some instances a request for clarification of the holiday schedule is needed, or even an effort to enforce the existing order is required to make sure each parent gets the time they deserve. For help with your holiday visitation schedule, call our office. Our team of experienced family law attorneys will take the steps necessary to make sure the holiday visitation order is clear, and followed by each party.

For more information about divorce, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.

Surviving the Last Holiday Before Divorce

divorce3Divorce filings typically rise dramatically in January. While it’s true that for some couples the holidays can bring their marital issues to the forefront and lead them to divorce, many couples decide long before mid-December that their marriage is over, yet put it on hold until they can get through the holidays. This is particularly common when there are children involved. Many parents want their kids to have one last family Christmas to remember. That can be easier said than done however. Getting through the holidays when you know your marriage is over can be painful and difficult.

To get through this tough time, follow these tips:

–        Talk to someone. Whether it’s a therapist, a friend, or a family member, you need someone you can unload onto as you try to hold it all together.

–        Set reasonable expectations. Don’t let yourself hope the holiday will heal your marriage and try not to expect the days to be magical and wonderful. Planning to get through it with as little trauma as possible is a reasonable way to approach it.

–        Create alone time. Finding ways to be away from your spouse will keep tensions to a minimum.

–        Make an agreement. If at all possible, try to hash out with your spouse exactly how you’re going to manage the holidays and surrounding events. Are you going to give each other gifts, go to each other’s family events, shop together for your kids? Figure it out in advance.

–        Put on a happy face. If your goal is to keep the news from your kids, you need to deploy your acting skills.

The Sampair Group handles divorce, custody, child support, spousal support, separations, annulments and all family law matters. We are located in Maricopa County, Arizona and are ready to work with you. Make an appointment today.

Coping With the Holidays Away from Your Child

Winter lanternIf you were divorced or separated this year, it may be the first time you will spend some or all of the holidays apart from your child. Although your parenting time agreement may be very fair, it is designed so that your child can spend time with both parents and this means sharing holidays. Your holiday schedule may have your child spending some major holidays with you and some with your ex. Coping with those holidays without your child can be challenging. Follow these strategies to get through this.

 –        Talk with your child. You will want to go over the schedule with your child and help him understand the plan. Explain that he will spend the day with the other parent and that although you will miss him, you will have other time together. Be positive and encourage your child to have fun. Don’t tell your child if you feel deeply saddened. You want your child to have positive feelings.

–        Plan an alternate holiday. Maybe you can’t be with your child on the actual holiday, but you can plan your own special holiday for your next time together. Talk about what you will do together and how you will celebrate. It will give you both something to look forward to.

–        Stay in touch. Talk to your child by phone or Skype the day of the holiday to stay connected. Even a quick call can help both of you feel happier.

–        Have a plan. So you won’t be with your child on the holiday, but that does not mean you have to pretend the day doesn’t exist. Make plans with family or friends. If you can’t face that, do something special for yourself at home – order or make your favorite food and watch a great movie or game. This is also your chance to do something completely different. Maybe you’ve thought about working at a soup kitchen or taking a tropical getaway. There is nothing stopping you now from switching things up. Maybe you will create a new tradition.

 When you need legal advice or representation for divorce or a custody case, you need the Sampair Group. Our attorneys serve the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Contact our office for a convenient appointment.

Sharing Holidays May Benefit Your Child

SantaHolidays 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.