As a parent, the first holiday season after getting divorced can be tough. Holidays like Christmas, Hannukah, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve won’t be the same as they used to be. Your ex won’t be there, and you might not live in the family home anymore. Perhaps more importantly, you might not get to spend some of the holiday season with your children either.
While you might not get to enjoy every holiday tradition with your kids the way you did last year, a positive and meaningful holidays with your children is still possible after divorce. A well-made child custody order should create a fair compromise that recognizes each parent’s holiday priorities and ensures the kids get as happy and memorable of a holiday season as possible.
Three ways divorced Georgia parents can share the holidays
There are several strategies available to Athens parents for splitting up the holidays. Which one works best for your family depends on each person’s particular needs, age, personality and preferences. Examples include:
- Alternating years. For example, you could have the kids for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve this year and your ex could get Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Then you would switch the following year.
- Fixed holidays. If a particular holiday is more important to you than your ex, you could always have custody for that specific holiday in exchange for another. This could be especially useful if you and your ex practice different religions or if one of you is more religious than the other. It could also give the children a sense of stability knowing that, say, they will always spend Thanksgiving at Mom’s house.
- Share holidays. If you and your co-parent live close enough together, you can split each individual holiday so that you get at least half of each one with the kids. For example, your kids could spend Christmas Eve and the following morning with your ex and come to your home for the afternoon and night.
Having a carefully negotiated child custody plan that takes all holidays into account is the key to helping your kids adjust to the new situation. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help make this possible.