Working Through the Challenges of Divorce During the Holidays

Holidays for divorced parents and their children are often difficult. The first year the family celebrates celebrating separately is generally the worst. If possible, if you can incorporate your standard traditions into your new way of addressing the holidays, it will be easier for your children.

Plan to Share the Time and Co-Parent According to the Best Interest of the Children

You may not emotionally be able to spend the holidays together, but you can cooperate and work out a plan that will help the family through the holidays. Some specific suggestions include:

Share the time: You can do this in different ways

Holidays and Divorce
  • Instead of the traditional schedule of your children spending two weeks of vacation time at Christmas with just one parent, work out a schedule that has a few days at one parent’s home and a few days at the other parent’s home to split the time more evenly.
  • Share the holiday itself. For example, on Christmas day, one parent may have the children in the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The other parent will have the children from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Or work out your own schedule for the day between yourselves.  This is a win-win for everyone. 
  • Provide Facetime or phone conversations with the parent who is not present.
  • One parent can have the children on Christmas Eve and the other one on Christmas morning. 
  • One parent can have the children on Thanksgiving, and the other one can celebrate Thanksgiving on the Friday after the holiday.  There is no rule stating you have to celebrate on the exact day.  It can be a day before or a day after. 
  • One parent can have the children on New Year’s Eve and the other one on New Year’s Day.

The idea is to keep the schedule as close to normal as possible. It is difficult to maintain a level of normalcy but, if possible, it makes it much easier for the children to spend the holidays with both parents, in a sense, during that first-year post divorce.

Don’t Be Alone on the Holiday

It can be depressing to be alone on the actual holiday while you sit and feel excluded thinking about your children being with the other parent and without you. Spend the day with your own extended family or friends. Plan ahead so you are not alone.

Martinez Legal, P.C. Can Help

If you are unable to agree with your children’s other parent about how to deal with the holidays, contact our family law attorneys at Martinez Legal, P.C. for assistance. We can meet with you through an online video format or in person at our office in a socially distancing environment.