The holiday season is here, and if you divorced in 2020 the holidays may look different than they have in years past, especially if you have children. Parents in San Francisco want to ensure their children have a happy holiday season following a divorce. The following are some tips on coparenting during the holidays.
Review your child custody order
When you divorced, you likely entered into a child custody order that outlined who will have your child on which holidays. For example, you may have your child in your care on Christmas Eve and your ex may have parenting time on Christmas Day. It is important to review this order, so that you can plan in advance and avoid any last-minute surprises. If the initial child custody order is no longer feasible, it is important to seek a modification through the courts.
Prepare in advance
Just as important as reviewing an existing order is ensuring your child knows what the plans are as they move into the holidays. Children need stability and predictability, especially following a divorce. As the holidays after a divorce may look different, it is important to ensure you let your child know what the new plans are. Now is also a good time to start some new, memorable traditions to replace what may have been done in the past.
Cooperate with your ex
A divorce is understandably one of the most emotional undertakings a person can take. However, for the sake of your child it is important to cooperate with your ex during the holidays. This means ensuring that you are on time for drop-offs and pick-ups, and perhaps even sharing some events together, such as school holiday programs. Avoid bad-mouthing your ex or interrogating your child about your ex’s activities. If face-to-face communication with your ex is not feasible, you can communicate through text message or email.
Keep the joy in the holidays
Ultimately, it is up to you to keep the joy in the holidays for your child. Your life post-divorce may look very different from when you were married, but there are still many ways to ensure the holidays will be special for your child. If you have questions about an existing child custody order or if you need to modify one, you may want to seek the advice of a family law attorney.