The holidays can be a fun and festive season filled with good cheer and child-like magic, but it also can be a frustrating nightmare when it comes to scheduling. There’s work events to attend and school parties to coordinate and family that you are obligated to visit. For divorced parents, the logistics can be even more cumbersome. As you coordinate your holiday visitation schedule with your ex-spouse and your Tampa divorce attorney, consider the following tips:
Begin discussing the schedule early.
Don’t wait until December 1 to start talking about who gets the kids on Christmas Eve and who will be celebrating with them on Christmas Day. Instead, start talking about the holiday visitation schedule early in the fall. This gives both of you time to coordinate holiday parties, family visits and other events that will need to be considered as part of the schedule. Additionally, the court system is very busy during the holiday season, so you will want to start thinking about these issues early. If you cannot come to an agreement, it is often too late to get a hearing in front of a judge regarding holiday time sharing if you do not start as soon as possible.
Offer to alternate holidays from year-to-year.
Many parents have found that the best solution to celebrating the holidays is to alternate each year. For instance, if you have the children for Thanksgiving this year, then your ex-spouse could have them on Christmas Day. The following year, your children could spend Thanksgiving at the other household and then spend Christmas Day with you. Alternating can be a simple, fair and effective holiday visitation plan.
Be respectful of traditions that have been in place.
In all likelihood, both you and your ex have traditions with your families that you hold dear. It is critical that you are both respectful of these traditions, and offer to compromise so that those traditions can be shared with your children. Open and honest discussion about these traditions can help quell hurt feelings as well as scheduling conflicts during the holiday season.
Be willing to make new traditions.
Recognize that it will never be completely the same after your divorce, but that doesn’t mean you can’t form new traditions. Look into new events that you can attend in your area to celebrate the holiday, or find something fun that you can all do together each year — no matter what the visitation schedule is.
The fact of the matter is, you will not be able to be with your children for every major moment of the holiday season. There will need to be compromise, but you won’t have to sacrifice the magic of season when you work out a functional schedule with your former spouse.
For more information on creating a holiday visitation schedule, contact your Tampa divorce attorney today.
If you have questions regarding a divorce attorney (Tampa, Florida), or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]