Constructing a holiday plan is an essential co-parenting concern that requires careful consideration and cooperation. The holiday season can be a sensitive time, and having a well-thought-out plan can better ensure that it’s enjoyable for both parents and children alike.
If you and your child’s other parent do not yet have a holiday plan in place, there are several considerations that you’ll want to evaluate before committing to any particular approach. This holiday plan can be integrated into your parenting plan with the help of a lawyer so that its terms are enforceable from now on.
The first step in creating a holiday plan is open and honest communication. Discuss your expectations and wishes for the holiday season with your co-parent and listen respectfully to theirs. This conversation should be approached with a willingness to compromise and an understanding of each other’s perspective, while keeping in mind that your children’s wishes and needs should be at the forefront of any holiday planning. Consider their age, interests and traditions they hold dear. It’s also important to think about how they might be feeling during the holidays, especially if the divorce or separation is recent.
One common approach is to alternate holidays each year. For example, one parent might have the children for winter break this year, and the other parent the next. Alternatively, holidays can be split, with children spending part of the day or holiday period with each parent. When planning, be realistic about travel and logistics, especially if you and your co-parent live far apart. Consider travel time, expenses and the practicality of the schedule. It’s important to ensure that the holiday schedule doesn’t become a source of stress for the children (and for you and your former partner too).
By planning ahead and working together, you and your co-parent can create holiday seasons that are enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved. Just keep in mind that until your plan is formalized and integrated into your parenting plan, it will not be enforceable in the event of a dispute.