For many New Jersey parents, this is the first holiday season since finalizing a divorce. Perhaps you can relate to the worry that many parents feel regarding the disruption that their children are experiencing in their daily lives because of divorce and their desire to make the holidays a fun family time. Even if you have a child custody agreement in place, the co-parenting tips in this blog post may help you avoid disputes.
Children are typically resilient and adaptable to the changes divorce brings to their daily lives. However, one issue that can cause high levels of stress is parental conflict, especially during the holidays. If you and your ex are willing to work together as a team to cooperate and make new memories with your kids, this holiday season can be enjoyable for the whole family.
Discuss gifts, including the financial aspects
When you sign a child custody agreement, issues such as where your children will live and which parent will have decision-making authority, are written into the legal document. It’s easy to overlook other issues, which may not seem as critical, like holiday gifts. Co-parenting is less stressful when both parents agree ahead of time regarding issues like how much to spend on gifts, who will pay for what, and what items each parent will buy. The latter helps avoid duplicate gifts, and discussing finances and other issues helps avoid conflict.
Don’t let personal differences create child custody problems during the holidays
One of the best gifts you can give your kids during the holidays is to agree to set your differences aside with your ex, or, at least, to keep adult issues between the two of you and not within earshot of the children. It’s not uncommon for disagreements to arise between a set of parents, whether they are still married or divorced. The key to minimizing stress during the holidays is to agree to keep the children’s best interests in mind and to resolve differences as swiftly and peacefully as possible.
Choose a different time to introduce a new romantic partner to the family
Following a divorce, there might come a time when you decide that you want to start dating again. The same is true for your ex. When your goal is to avoid child custody issues during the holidays, it’s best to choose another time of year to introduce a new partner to the family. While the children (and both parents) are still adapting to a new lifestyle, adding too many elements can be too daunting.
Divorce will no doubt change your children’s lives, but it doesn’t have to ruin them. The holidays can still be a joyful, festive time for your family. If a child custody issue arises that you’re unable to resolve on your own, you’ll be doing your children (and yourself) a favor if you reach out for additional support.