Parenting can become more challenging following a divorce, and this is rarely more evident than during the holidays. When the children are off school for winter break, you might expect to spend all of your days and nights with them as usual, though this is usually not what happens when you share child custody (known as conservatorship in Texas). Parents can often fight over schedules, and these disputes can put a damper on the entire season.
Below are some tips for resolving disputes and enjoying the holiday season following a divorce. If you need answers to legal child custody questions, please reach out to a Fort Worth family lawyer for additional help.
Look at Your Parenting Plan
When you got divorced or settled on an initial child custody arrangement, you should have put a detailed parenting plan in place. This parenting plan should serve as a guide for how to resolve disputes. For example, if you and your ex both want to spend Christmas morning with your child, but you cannot get along to spend it together, your parenting plan should set out who has the right to have your child on that particular day.
Often, parents trade off for major holidays, so one of you might have your child in the morning and the other for Christmas dinner. If your parenting plan states that your ex has your child for Christmas morning, you should abide by those guidelines and schedules. While it can be difficult to give up time with your child, it is important to cooperate to make the most of the season.
On the other hand, if your parenting plan says that your child should be with you on Christmas morning, stand up for this right. If your ex refuses to follow the schedule in the parenting plan, speak with an attorney as soon as possible about your options.
Be Flexible and Open to New Traditions
As mentioned, it can be difficult to forgo your usual traditions due to a shared custody schedule. However, this does not mean that it should ruin the holidays for you and your family. If your children usually open presents from you on Christmas morning, perhaps you can switch the tradition to Christmas Eve. If your family used to have a fancy brunch on New Year’s Day, you might need to change on certain years to a fancy dinner on New Year’s Eve. Making new traditions is important to ensure that everyone enjoys the season as much as possible and does not get caught up in disputes over scheduling.
If you find that the schedule initially set for custody is no longer working, you can discuss the possibility of a custody modification with your family law attorney.
Let a Fort Worth Family Law Attorney Help You
At the law office of Kyle Whitaker, we hope everyone makes the most of their holiday season. We are here to help provide guidance regarding how to resolve disputes and ensure you have a custody arrangement that works for you. Please contact us today for more information.