On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Timesharing/Visitation on Sunday, December 9, 2012.

For people going through child custody, or who are very recently divorced, the holidays are not always happy times. In my experience, the holiday season is a stressful one, and this year is shaping up to be no different than other years. The ringing you hear in family law firms is not sleigh bells, but telephone calls from upset clients fighting over holiday visits, winter vacation plans and gift giving. As the Washington Times reported recently:

Believe it or not, most attorneys would rather enjoy the holidays with our own families than rush into court to file emergency legal documents for stressed out clients during the season. Due to the recent court cutbacks, emergency filings are an even greater strain on everyone. This is the time to think ahead, anticipate and solve problems so you can enjoy your holiday season with minimum stress for you and your children.

Here are a few tips for parents to lower or prevent your divorce ruining your holidays or bank account:

  • Look at the timesharing schedule in your agreement or final judgment. Become familiar with specific holidays, dates and the times the kids are supposed to be with you, or the other parent.
  • Send a nicely worded confirmation email of the holiday schedule to the other parent to avoid disagreements early on.
  • Be flexible. Relatives can make special visits during the holidays, and it might be the only time of year seeing the children is possible. Fostering relationships with extended family is considered in the children’s best interest.
  • If your divorce is ongoing, spending the holidays with your soon to be ex and his or her family is way too much stress right now. After the wounds heal, think about taking the high road and sharing a holiday instead of splitting or alternating one.

A little pre-planning and communication can save you a lot of emotional and financial expense. This is a special time of the year for children. The weather has cooled, kids are on vacation, and work may have slowed for you. Try to make it the best time of year.

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