Fraud Blocker

Making the Most Out of the Holidays as a Co-Parent

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are quickly approaching. This means time with family and loved ones for many Virginia families, but we also recognize that not every Virginia family looks the same.

If you got divorced this year it can be a challenge coming up with a holiday co-parenting plan that gives you both quality time with your children. We want to help you navigate the coming days and weeks just as we did last year to make sure you and your family are getting the most out of the holidays.

Consider Celebrating Together

This one can be a challenge for many exes, especially if the divorce happened recently and was particularly contentious. However, we find that some co-parents end up spending the holidays together which provides everyone, kids included, with quality time together.

We aren’t saying you need to rekindle your relationship or even make the kids think that, however. In fact, you should be transparent with your kids about the situation if they’re old enough to understand to avoid any confusion. This can be a great opportunity to show your children that it’s okay to coexist with people you disagree with and create healthy habits for them in future relationships.

Put the Kids First

Above all else, your children have to come first in your co-parenting plans. We fully understand that you have plans and traditions to consider, but the courts will always favor your children and you should, too. This means asking them about what they want to do this year and trying to match any reasonable expectations or requests. It also means understanding that having two Christmases won’t be the end of the world for them.

You can earn favor with the courts if you can legitimately say you made concessions for the sake of your children. Of course, make sure those concessions are actually for your children and not just a situation where your ex is using them against you.

Coordinate Gifting

Gifts are a huge part of the holiday season, especially for kids. Of course, you don’t want to end up getting them something they already have or something that’s already wrapped up under the tree for them. You also don’t want to gift them something they’re not supposed to have.

If there is an open line of communication with your ex you should take advantage of it to have these discussions. Are you the custodial parent and want more say in what they have access to in your home? Are you the noncustodial parent and need to know what they are allowed to have at your ex’s house? These are conversations you should be having right now.

Another element of this is being respectful to your ex. Are your or they down on their luck and not able to provide many or any gifts this year? If one parent is able to provide more gifts this year then maybe they can allow the other parent to be the one to give certain gifts to the children during the holidays. This act of good faith can maintain a strong relationship between the kids and both parents.

Avoid Arguments

This may seem obvious, but you don’t want to spend the holidays arguing with your ex or your children. Circumstances may not be what you all envisioned them as when you made your commitment to each other, but you have to make the most out of the situation.

Arguments ruin the holidays for everyone and put the kids in a tough position. If you’re unable to communicate directly with your ex without arguing, it might be worth contacting an attorney to help you come up with an effective co-parenting plan. At Rinehart Bryant, we are dedicated to helping Virginia families get the most out of their time together by moving forward with compassion and integrity. Contact our team if you need help navigating the holiday season as a co-parent or if your ex isn’t honoring the time you’re owed with your children.

The following two tabs change content below.

Rinehart Bryant, PLLC

If you are looking for a family law firm to help you through your Virginia divorce who actually cares about you, we promise that you won’t find a better home than Rinehart Bryant, PLLC.

Latest posts by Rinehart Bryant, PLLC (see all)