Armstrong Law, P.C.

How to handle the holidays and child custody

The holidays quickly approaching, and for many people in Massachusetts this is a festive time filled with friends and family. Unfortunately, for many divorced parents this is a time of the year that can be challenging, stressful and depressing. To keep conflicts to a minimum, you and your ex-spouse should discuss the holidays far in advance and make plans that work with everyone's schedules and are fair to the children. This will help ease some of the stress when the holidays do arrive.

According to FindLaw, one of the most important aspects when determining holiday schedules it to put the kids' needs first. This means being flexible and selfless while still meeting your wishes to celebrate with your children. It may take a series of discussions with your ex to determine who gets the kids when and to figure out specific details. 

According to the Huffington Post, there are two methods that are common when determining parenting time over the holidays. If you and your ex are able to communicate effectively and you live pretty close to each other, it may be possible to split time for each holiday. That way you each get to spend time with the kids. An easier option is to alternate years. This works especially well if you are planning a trip over the holiday or your proximity makes it difficult to split time.

If you choose alternate years, you can still celebrate the holiday on years your ex gets the children. The kids will be just as excited to open presents on the 20th of December as the 24th or 25th, and most won't complain about having two turkey dinners either. The more you can go with the flow the less tension there will be, which is better for everyone.



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