The fall and winter holidays, from Halloween onward, are often among the most stressful for separated and divorced parents. In some cases, Maryland family law attorneys recommend that plans for these holidays be detailed in their clients' parenting plans to help avoid disputes that can make them less enjoyable for parents and children alike.
These parenting plans, no matter how detailed, may not prevent disputes between a couple that continues to have issues following a divorce. You can take steps, however, to help ensure a happier, more peaceful holiday season for your kids.
If you want to plan something different than is in the parenting plan, let your former spouse know as soon as possible. Springing last minute plans is never a good idea.
Whatever your holiday plans are with your kids, be sure to share videos and pictures with your ex. Exes who feel involved in the important moments in their kids' lives are often more amenable to let them spend holidays and other special events with their other parent.
Grandparents generally expect to spend some time over the holidays with their grandchildren. Even if big family gatherings are no longer possible, don't prevent grandchildren or other relatives from your ex's side of the family from seeing your kids unless you have a good reason to do so.
Fortunately, there are apps available to help estranged parents coordinate their schedules. If you and your ex can agree on one to use, this can help make the holidays (and life in general) less stressful for your kids and for you.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make your children's holidays in separate homes more pleasant and joyful. There is plenty of advice available online and through support groups. If you're struggling determining how to navigate the holidays with your ex, your Maryland family law attorney can likely direct you to some helpful resources or work to help you enforce your parenting plan if necessary.
Source: Huffington Post, "8 Tips to Make Holiday Parenting Time Less Stressful," Daniel Clement, Nov. 05, 2015