The holidays are coming up which usually means busy times and some extra stress. When you are co-parenting a child, the holidays bring a special type of challenge.
Remember that the most important priority during the holidays should be making sure your children have a positive experience that brings them many happy memories. Keeping this in mind will help you if conflicts arise with your co-parent.
Follow a schedule but be flexible
Have a set schedule beforehand. If you have a custody order through a New York court, it likely includes a detailed holiday custody schedule. If not, it should. Most standard custody schedules require modifications during the holidays to accommodate the extra activities and time off from school.
However, allow yourself to be flexible as necessary. As with your regular custody schedule, your holiday schedule can change if you and your co-parent agree.
Perhaps you were scheduled to have custody for a certain time on Christmas Day, but your co-parent’s work schedule changes and they ask if the time can be changed by a couple of hours. Do not insist on following the regular schedule just to be difficult or because you feel you shouldn’t have to accommodate their plans.
Again, consider if changing your schedule would have any impact on your child’s holiday experience. Chances are, it won’t.
Consider celebrating together
Missing out on time with your children is one of the hardest aspects of co-parenting over the holidays. Consider celebrating the holidays together.
You and your co-parent may no longer be together but that does not mean you must spend the holidays apart. This can make the experience even more meaningful for your children, but you should make sure they understand this does not mean you and your co-parent are together again, as that could cause confusion and sadness.
Overall, you must find the solution that works best for your situation. Although everyone’s case is different, being flexible and remembering that your child comes can help all parents.