The summer is ending and fall is approaching. In only a few months you'll be celebrating those big three holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you're like many divorcing parents, you may already be asking yourself how to plan for the festivities in the coming months.
Planning holiday celebrations in the midst of a divorce can be stressful for children and parents alike. These general tips will help you mitigate the chaos and ensure the events are fun for your children. The following advice will also help you ensure that your celebrations won't create problems with your divorce proceedings.
Devise a Clear and Structured Plan
It's important to make your plans clear and predictable for your children. Knowing who they will be spending time with and when will make the event less stressful for your children, and in turn, this will make the holidays less stressful for you. In the coming weeks, have a conversation with your spouse about where the kids will be on each holiday.
Some parents split the time in half on each day, while others switch off holidays. Make sure your plans include how the children will get to each home, as well as times of arrival and departure from those homes. Write up your plan for both parties so that each parent can understand and review the plan if necessary. Be sure to go over your plans with a professional divorce attorney, like Mira Staggers White, so that everyone is on the same page.
Know the Rules
If you're planning to travel with your child for your upcoming holiday celebration, consult with your divorce attorney. Travel out of city and state can often be arranged, but it's important to work with your attorney to ensure that the travel won't conflict with your divorce proceedings.
Celebrating a holiday out of the country during a divorce can be tricky. There are points during a divorce when you may need to get permission from the judge to take your children out of the country. Your divorce attorney will be able to tell you how to make plans to leave the country with your children. If your children are going to need passports, your divorcing spouse will need to accompany you to get the passport.
Ask for Your Child's Opinion
Older children sometimes feel better when they're given some control over the situation. To help your children through this difficult time, work together with your divorcing spouse to come up with a few holiday schedule options that would work for either one of you, then take these options to your children. Letting your children decide how they would like to spend their holidays can help the events go more smoothly.
For more tips and information about devising a holiday schedule, speak with your divorce attorney. He or she will be able to guide you through the process, which will help you to come up with a solution that works for everyone.