Between the family gatherings, gift shopping, travel arrangements, and seemingly never enough time in the day to balance it all, the holidays can be stressful enough as they are. However, for families who have recently completed the divorce process, the experience of a first holiday season can bring a new level of difficulty and emotional strain. Here are a few valuable tips for recently-divorced parents to make their first separated holiday season a positive experience for themselves and their family.
Be Accommodating and Flexible with Your Schedule
Your children may wish to spend time with both sides of the family over the holidays. Your parenting plan may have certain provisions, but if your children express the desire to visit one spouse or the other, listen to their wishes and be willing to give them a few hours with your ex and their family. Remember: holidays are a time for family and your ex and their family are still very much a part of your child’s life despite your marriage being over.
It also helps to work with your spouse and set the schedule for the holidays well in advance. That way your children know what to expect when the time comes and there are no surprises. Be sure to respect and stick to the schedule for the holidays as well.
Start New Traditions
Give your kids something to get excited about! The holidays immediately after a divorce can be a time to discover something new that you enjoy doing as a family. Doing this can not only introduce all of you to something you may never have known that you would love, but it can also help keep your mind and emotions away from the pain and emotional strain that the memories and fresh wounds from your divorce may have caused.
Don’t Engage in Gift Battles
Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or any of the other holidays are not a reason for you to attempt to “show up” your ex by providing lavish gifts to your kids in an attempt to win their favor. Discuss your gift ideas with your ex to make sure that you don’t get duplicate gifts and confusion, as well as ensure that the spending doesn’t go beyond your means. Money can often be tight after a divorce, so it’s important to make sure that the gifts you purchase are not going to send you into a spiral of crippling debt.
The skilled Columbus divorce attorneys at Weis + O’Connor recognize the importance that your family plays in your life, which is why we put our clients first in every case we represent. We have earned numerous accolades for our quality of counsel and client service, including being named a Board Certified Family Law Specialist by the Ohio State Bar. If you are going through a divorce this holiday season, let our team help you by standing up for the best interests of your family.
Schedule your initial consultation with Weis + O’Connor today by dialing (614) 428-0266.