A Gift You Don't Want for the Holidays: A Fight With Your Ex Over Parenting Time

As the year begins to wind down, that means the holidays are quickly approaching. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for divorced couples, fights over holiday parenting time can ruin it. However, it does not have to be this way.

With over two months to go before Christmas and Hanukkah, now is the best time to confirm where the children will be spending the holidays. In parties' divorce agreements, a holiday parenting time schedule is almost always addressed. This can range from parties agreeing to decide each year how they want to divide the holidays, or specifically stating who will have which holiday which year. Commonly, the parties alternate by year, with one parent having thanksgiving and then the other parent having Christmas. This gives both parents the opportunity to enjoy a major holiday with their children each year. Alternatively, one parent may always have one holiday, while the other parent always enjoys another holiday. What is best for one family is not always best for another. However what is best is to have these holiday disputes resolved as far in advance as possible.

Parents should also consider how holidays will affect their regular parenting time schedule with the children. Generally, holidays will supersede regular parenting time. If a parent is set to have a particular day with their child each week, this may not occur if a holiday such as Christmas falls on that day this year. Further, with children off from school for over a week, this too must be addressed, in particular if child care arrangements need to be made, and who will be responsible for that.

While the holidays are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, waiting until the last minute to determine where the children will be and who they will be celebrating with can certainly ruin this, and not only for you, but also the children. Having a clear plan for the holidays as far in advance as possible is one gift to yourself that requires no receipt.