The holidays should be enjoyable. However, it can be a challenge while coparenting. Whether you and your ex recently separated or finalized your divorce, creating a schedule to spend time with your children is crucial.
Your coparenting holiday schedule involves more than deciding when each parent gets to be with their kids. The plan should include financial responsibilities, travel, and celebrations with extended family. By implementing a schedule before the holiday season begins, you might avoid arguments, miscommunication, and unnecessary legal disputes.
How to Navigate Custody Agreements After Divorce
A legal separation or divorce is stressful. Adding the complex arrangement of child custody and visitation can seem overwhelming. Instead of seeing your child every day, working out a visitation schedule with your ex is necessary. It might seem impossible, but you can get through it with adequate preparation.
First, you should consider the legal aspects of child custody and visitation. Most divorcing couples negotiate the terms by deciding who gets to live with the kids and when the other parent can spend time with them.
You might think a legal agreement is unnecessary, but it can benefit everyone involved. Putting everything down on paper ensures a clear plan for everyone to follow. No one can deviate from the schedule without facing legal ramifications.
Your child’s best interests should be your top priority while negotiating a coparenting schedule with your ex. It is your child’s right to celebrate the holidays with both parents regardless of how you feel about each other.
Creating a Coparenting Holiday Schedule
Most people focus on major holidays while creating a coparenting schedule. While that’s important, you should include smaller holidays, school breaks, and long weekends. Your agreement should outline when each parent has custody of the children, including days, times, and locations for pick up and drop off.
You should also leave room for last-minute changes. Sticking to one plan isn’t always practical. Sometimes, one parent must work late, gets sick, or travels to see family. Allowing adjustments to the schedule can keep the peace and give both parents the time they deserve with their children.
You can design a schedule that makes sense for everyone. Consider your ex’s obligations and child’s needs. Your child doesn’t have to spend the same holiday with the same parent every year. You might want to alternate holidays or split time, so each of you gets to celebrate with your kid.
Handling Finances and Other Aspects of Holiday Coparenting
An issue that can be tricky to negotiate is financial responsibilities. You must decide in advance who should pay for holiday expenses, such as presents and travel.
Coparenting requires paying for housing, utilities, clothes, education, and other necessities. You can share the costs equally or allow one parent to reimburse the other, depending on your income. It might make sense for one person to contribute more if they make more money.
You should also discuss who should pay for holiday presents, airfare to visit distant relatives, and other holiday-related expenses. These conversations can be awkward and tense. However, you must find a way to put your differences aside and resolve these issues. Discussing it ahead of time can avoid confusion and arguments about who pays for what.
Virginia Beach Family Law Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Advocate for Fair Coparenting Schedules During the Holidays
At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, we understand the challenges of coparenting during the holidays. Creating a schedule everyone is happy with can be a tumultuous process. However, reaching an agreement is necessary so that everyone can enjoy the festivities. You might avoid an ugly lawsuit in the future if you prepare for the upcoming season now.