As the holidays approach, many California residents may anticipate, not only the many exciting and loving traditions, but also the stress dealing with reconciling a child custody schedule with one's ex-spouse. Notoriously, determining child custody during the holidays is an especially contentious subject where schedules are often constantly changing out of the ordinary to daily life. When obtaining a divorce or considering a holiday custody schedule, it is important to consider a number of factors in order to avoid arguments and unnecessary stress.
Many recommend that couples consider the holiday custody schedule much in advance to the actual holiday season. This could mean even considering holiday plans in a divorce decree, if appropriate, or, at the very least, coming up with an agreement on scheduling with one's ex-spouse well in advance. This will ensure that any disagreements can be worked out without the added stress of time issues. It is also advisable to be as flexible and understanding as possible when determining scheduling. While having one's children for certain events during the holidays is incredibly important, the very same might be just as important to the other spouse. Being understanding and flexible can encourage compromise.
It is also helpful to post the holiday schedule in a visible place so that both spouses and the children are well aware of the plan for the upcoming holidays. This is important so that everyone can feel prepared and informed as to the holiday plans.
Determining child custody is a truly difficult task for many couples that can continue to be a struggle post-divorce. It is important to understand the benefits of transparency and compromise when going into the child custody conversations. Such a stance can make discussions surrounding child custody less stressful.
Source: The Washington Times, "Nine holiday tips for divorced moms, dads, and kids," Myra Fleischer, Nov. 11, 2013