How to Handle Joint Custody During the Holidays

The holiday seasons is already stressful, and adding joint custody to the mix adds a level of stress that nobody wants to deal with. Even if you have a joint custody agreement in place that already defines how you handle the holidays, there are always exceptions to the rules based on schedules and gatherings. If you and your ex have joint custody, the following tips will help you handle it better when the holiday season approaches.

 

Defer to the parenting agreement.

The best thing for you to do is to defer to the parenting agreement. Chances are the courts have already detailed how you should split custody during the holidays, so if you are ever in need of any questions, this will be the best thing to do. Most court systems find ways to make it fair, so you should understand that this agreement allows parents to have equal time with the child when the holidays approach.

 

Talk it out.

If you need to make adjustments to the child custody agreement, the best thing to do is to talk it out with your ex. Sometimes schedules change or plans change, and you may need your child on a different day than anticipated. If this occurs, just talk to your ex about it. Be willing to give up another day to take your child on a different day. This way, you can ensure you and your ex still have equal time with the child during the holidays but that it fits in better with each of your schedules.

 

Be fair.

No parent wants to give up time with their child, but you need to understand you’re both parents to the child and your child deserves time with each of you. No matter what your schedule may be, it’s important that you’re fair. Be sure you and your ex are getting equal time with your child during the holidays. This means sharing the important dates, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day. When you’re fair, you’ll be doing the right thing for your child and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Make plans early.

The best way to avoid any issues is to make your holiday plans as early as possible. When you wait to the last minute and try to change custody dates, this is when problems arise. However, when you can make your holiday schedule early, it will allow you to talk with your ex about it so that each of you can make your plans based on the information you’re providing. If you need to wait on a work schedule, try to talk with your boss to see if it’s possible to get your schedule in advance so you can make arrangements. If you are waiting on holiday schedules from family, be sure to ask them for dates and times of family get-togethers early so you have the ability to plan for your child custody quickly.

 

Do what you can to make it easy.

Because the holidays are so stressful and busy, the last thing you need to do it make it all harder. Be willing to do whatever you can to make this situation easy. Maybe this means driving your child to and from the different places, or maybe it means doing your holiday celebration early in the morning or later at night to give equal time with both parents. By doing what you can to make it easy, you’ll make the holidays that much better on your child.

Every parent wants to spend time with their child during the holidays, and although it may be tough, doing what you can to handle joint custody will be better for everyone involved.

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