The holidays are a time when people are planning to gather with family and loved ones, share good meals together and even exchange gifts. However, it can also be an emotionally charged time of year, and it can be stressful for Tennessee parents who are sharing custody of children. This is one reason why it is so important to have a thorough and clear parenting plan in place.
Children benefit when allowed to maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce. This probably means sharing time with both parents during the holidays as well. You may have to set aside your own temporary emotions for the benefit of your kids, but this can be a good way to avoid custody disputes during this busy and important time of year.
Ways to make it work
Every family is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to custody and visitation during the holidays. When you are considering the terms of your parenting plan, there are several ways that you and the other parent can plan to see your children and share time with them in a way that is reasonable, fair and not stressful to the kids. Some potential options include:
- If you and the other parent get along well, it may be possible to all be together during the holiday season. You can plan a celebration that allows the children to be in their home with both of you, which can be helpful if the divorce is still very new.
- You may think it is more practical to alternate holidays. This may mean your kids will not be with you during Thanksgiving, but you may have them at Christmas. You and the other parent would simply swap the next year.
- It could be more practical for you and the other parent to simply split time. Whether this means sharing the actual day or finding a way to equitably share the holiday season, you can decide what works best for you.
Custody is a difficult issue, and it is not out of the ordinary for issues with visitation and time-sharing to arise during the holiday season. In order to avoid this possible stress point and make things easier for your kids, you may want to speak to an attorney about protecting your parental rights and making sure you have a strong custody and visitation plan in place.