During the holidays, additional challenges can present themselves for divorced or divorcing families. Parents may struggle with sharing precious time with their children, while children can feel stressed having to go back and forth between two homes. However, when parents put their children’s needs and happiness first, they can make the holiday season special for their kids. Here are some tips to navigate the holidays with your co-parent.
Put Your Children First
The most important thing to remember to ensure successful co-parenting is putting the needs of your children first. Their best interests should be the top priority when you and your co-parent make any decisions for them. For example, when planning family events, a schedule of family events in one weekend may be taxing for children and parents. Children and parents often need time to decompress and relax with their loved ones. It can be hard to think about not celebrating with your children on a particular holiday; however, creating new ways to celebrate can help.
In most cases, you and your co-parent should have established a parenting plan already that outlines how the kids will spend their time between each household during the holidays. However, as your kids get older, this plan may need adjusting to meet their changing needs. If possible, communicate with your co-parent in advance to determine specific events, traditions, and events that are important for your child to experience. These should increase your child’s happiness and hopefully reduce stress for all involved.
Flexibility is key in co-parenting. While it’s best to follow custody schedules to the best of each parent’s ability, life isn’t 100% predictable. Unexpected events are inevitable, and when they do occur, try to be flexible (within reason). Obviously, this doesn’t mean letting your ex steamroll over your time with your children, but if something like an unexpected visit from your ex’s relatives, then consider adjusting the custody schedule so that your child can join in the festivities.
Work with an Austin Child Custody Lawyer to Protect Your Interests
If your parental rights are being violated or your children’s best interests are not being upheld by your co-parent, Benouis Law is here to provide you legal guidance. Our compassionate Austin child custody attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights as a parent. Do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s custody arrangement.