Many Minnesota parents are getting ready for their first holiday season after finalizing a divorce. They want their children to still enjoy family customs and traditions, but they also want everyone to avoid the stress of divorce whenever possible. The holidays can spur child custody problems if co-parents are not well prepared.
The good news is that thinking ahead and planning can give a concerned parent the head start that he or she needs to avoid conflict, confusion or legal trouble during the holidays. One way to be prepared is to have a network of support in place in case a legal issue does arise. It is also helpful to incorporate plans for the holidays into a child custody order.
A solid child custody plan helps everyone know what to expect
Divorce changes a family’s lifestyle, especially during the holidays. Children might miss being with both parents at the same time, which is why some co-parents agree to spend holidays together. Whatever a set of parents agrees to is fine, but it is best to set terms in writing. This way, the court can include it in its child custody order and enforce the terms if necessary. If kids will spend Thanksgiving at one parent’s house but Christmas at the other, including this in the terms of the agreement lets everyone know what to expect and helps avoid disputes about parenting time.
Additional holiday issues that can cause child custody problems
Even parents with the best of intentions may run into child custody issues during the holidays. For instance, what if both parents buy the same gift? Or, what if one parent assumes the other is helping to pay for gifts? Discussing all holiday issues ahead of time may prevent parental conflict and help kids enjoy festivities while learning to come to terms with their parent’s divorce.