For Minnesota parents who are going through a divorce, the holidays can be challenging. This is also true for children, who may feel torn between two households and loyalty to both parents. Several issues can not only put a damper on the joy of the season but can spark child custody problems, as well.
Three issues that can make or break the holidays for newly divorced parents are: division of time, gifts and expenses, and anger or jealousy regarding new relationships. With Thanksgiving upon us already, there is little time left before the kick-off of the 2023 holiday season. It is best for parents to discuss these issues ahead of time to minimize stress and avoid child custody disputes.
A child custody order stays in effect during the holidays
If parents have agreed to share child custody, then their agreement remains in effect during the holidays. It is a good idea to incorporate details regarding holidays and special events into a child custody agreement, which helps organize schedules and avoid confusion. That agreement can then be incorporated into a court order. Parents may decide to divide the hours of the day so that kids can spend time with each of them or may create a rotating schedule throughout the year. The point is to discuss how children will spend their time before the holidays begin so that everyone knows what to expect.
To avoid duplicate gifts or arguments over expenses, parents can work out a gift-giving plan. Legal custody may have relevance here, as well, such as if parents have agreed to consult one another before buying the kids a gift that costs a specific amount of money. As for relationships, children may have new stepsiblings or relationships with their other parent’s new partner. Such situations can cause a flood of emotion, especially if past hurts are still fresh. It is helpful to approach the holidays like business negotiations, keeping children’s best interests in mind. If a child custody problem arises, a family law attorney can help find a swift and fair solution so that everyone, especially the kids, can enjoy the season.