Co-parenting is often stressful and frustrating for divorced and separated couples. The holiday season can stir up emotions that create tension between exes. While you and your former partner want to spend as much time as possible with your child, considering their needs is crucial.
Your son or daughter should celebrate the holidays with both parents. That means you and your ex must come together to make a schedule that benefits your kid and creates a sense of stability in their life.
Co-parenting mistakes are common. If you don’t plan ahead, your emotions can take over and ruin the holiday season for you, your ex, and your child. Below are three common holiday co-parenting mistakes you should avoid.
Focusing on Winning
Many divorced couples feel resentful, sad, or carry around anger about something the other did. You shouldn’t let your feelings about your ex cloud your judgment regarding your child. Your kid’s happiness will suffer if a co-parenting schedule is more about winning or seeking revenge.
Review the terms of your custody agreement and make sure that your child is getting all the time they’re entitled to with each parent. Maintaining a regular schedule is critical for children of divorced parents. They need to know they can spend quality time with each parent without being put in the middle of conflicts. Now is the time to set aside your differences and focus on your child’s needs. Think about what’s best for them while creating a holiday schedule.
Not Creating a Co-Parenting Plan
Another common mistake to avoid is failing to plan ahead. You should talk to your ex and create a co-parenting schedule in advance. Going into the holiday season unprepared often leads to miscommunication and arguments.
Make the necessary time to discuss the holidays with your ex. You should compare schedules and decide how to manage getting your child back and forth between you to get them holiday time with each parent. For example, figuring out ahead of time that neither of you will be available to take your child to the other parent on an exchange day is critical. That way, you’ll have time to make other arrangements that you are both on board with, like having a grandparent or other relative make the transfer, and as an added benefit, the child can get in an extra hour or two with another family member, too.
Refusing to Make Necessary Schedule Changes
Scheduling conflicts are normal, especially around the holidays. Although you created and agreed to a co-parenting plan, things happen that require changes. You should be willing to consider shifts to the days or pick-up/drop-off times for unforeseen circumstances.
If you’re not willing to accommodate your ex’s schedule, they likely won’t extend the same courtesy to you and your son or daughter won’t get the quality time they deserve with each of their parents. Communicate with your former partner and address potential issues regarding the co-parenting plan. Leaving room for last-minute adjustments can ensure the holiday season doesn’t involve unnecessary arguments.
Contact a Family Law Attorney Now
The McKeon Law Firm takes a hands-on approach to every case we handle. We provide personalized attention and ongoing communication to our clients. Our legal team understands the sensitive nature of co-parenting and provides the guidance and support necessary to get through the process smoothly.
We represent clients in Gaithersburg, Bethesda, and throughout Montgomery County, in a range of family law matters. Child custody and visitation during the holiday season can be overwhelming for parents. You don’t have to go through this challenge alone. We will help you create a schedule that works well for everyone and meets your child’s needs.
Call The McKeon Law Firm today at (301) 417-9222 or (202) 742-1800 for a confidential consultation if you want to learn more about making a holiday co-parenting plan.