Co-parenting can be very challenging, and the holidays can add more difficulty and stress to the situation. It might not be easy, but with the right strategies in place, it is certainly possible to successfully co-parent during Thanksgiving and the holidays.
Divorce and separation are difficult to adjust for many people. Even if both parties agree that it is for the best, emotions can run high. Changes to living arrangements and daily routines cause stress in even the best situations. The high stress and emotional complexity of separation only increases when children are involved. Separated parents may struggle with feelings toward their former significant other, but child custody tends to become the main point of contention.
Co-parenting requires a great deal of cooperation between both parents, and if they find it difficult to get along with each other, managing a custody agreement will certainly be a challenge. Even if both parents get along after the separation, maintaining a custody agreement is not easy.
Impact of Divorce on Children
Heightened stress and emotions resulting from separation are not limited to just the parents, especially during the holidays. Children can have trouble adjusting to a divided home life. Not only is it a difficult transition, but children may feel conflicted to choose between their parents. Children may also feel neglected because they do not understand why one parent moved out. It is important to understand that children may not see the separation the same way as adults and could have complex feelings, even if they do not verbalize them.
Planning family get-togethers and big meals can cause stress for any family, but for separated parents, there are more questions and considerations. Agreeing on where a child will be for Thanksgiving and the holidays and settling plans can be one of the most difficult hurdles for divorced parents. The following tips will make any holiday much more manageable:
- Plan ahead: Lack of planning can cause unnecessary stress. Communication between both parents well before Thanksgiving and other holidays will prevent surprises and hard feelings.
- Respect the other parent: Positive child custody arrangements require mutual respect and understanding from both parents. If one parent has the child for a certain holiday, the other parent should respect the parenting plan and give that parent the required time with the child without any issues or interruptions.
- Be considerate of the children’s needs: It is important to let children feel like they have a say in what happens. However, they should not be made to feel as though they have to choose between their parents. Remember that they have their own feelings and should not be treated like property.
- Create new traditions: With divorce comes children spending separate holidays with each parent, so it is a good idea to create new traditions to celebrate each year that are unique to the new family dynamic.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Clients with Parenting Plans for the Holidays!
If you need to create or change a parenting plan in time for the holiday season, our experienced lawyers at Burnham Douglass can help. We work with parents to resolve a wide range of child custody issues, including issues pertaining to the holidays. Call us at 856-751-5505 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, and Mercer County.