With the end of the year rapidly approaching, most Texas parents are eagerly making their holiday plans. Whether booking flights or buying the perfect ingredients for a family favorite, it is an exciting time of year. But what are you supposed to do now that you are divorced? Co-parenting through the holidays can be difficult, but not impossible.
Worried about missing out on precious holiday moments? You are not alone in this. Many other divorced parents struggle with this time of year. Here are some tips to implement on top of your established child custody agreement.
Adjust your expectations
Celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 might be a tradition, but that does not mean you cannot make a new one. If your children are going to spend the actual holiday with their other parent, consider celebrating early instead. You can still spend time together, open presents and enjoy far too much good food a few days or even weeks early or later.
Another good way to stay present during the holidays is to send along a present when your child is spending the day at your ex’s house. When your child can open a present from whichever parent is not there on the actual day, they may feel more connected to you regardless of distance.
Don’t forget about phone calls
Even if a specific holiday is “your” day this year, consider having your child call or video chat with their other parent. Touching base on the day of the actual holiday can help parents and children alike who cannot physically spend the day together. Some parents may even choose to include this provision in their custody agreement.
It is also important to remember that no matter how big holidays are, they are still only one day out of a month. Parents may not want to get caught up fighting over a single day and forget to enjoy the many others they get to spend with their children.
What does your custody agreement say about the holidays?
Life is unpredictable, and a holiday custody plan that seemed like a good idea even just a few months ago might no longer work. Even if being flexible is not exactly your strong suit, being able to change plans as needed is often a vital component of co-parenting through the holidays.
Unfortunately, no amount of being flexible can ensure that your ex respects your child, your co-parenting relationship and the holiday custody agreement. If you are struggling with enforcement or think that your current agreement needs to be modified, be sure to take timely action in petitioning the Texas family law court.