Florida Parenting Plans During the Holidays

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Now that it is November, the holiday season is beginning. For many families in Florida that are going through a divorce (or are considering the possibility of divorce), the matter of parenting time and a holiday schedule can produce a significant amount of anxiety. In particular, for families that will be spending the holiday season apart for the first time, questions about holiday schedules can become complicated and contentious. We want to discuss some of the ways that families can deal with stress surrounding children and the holidays during a divorce, as well as some practical issues to consider when developing a parenting plan and holiday schedule.

Managing the Holidays During Your Divorce with Children 

According to an article in Psychology Today, the holiday season can be one of the most difficult times for a couple that is going through a divorce, especially when there are minor children from the marriage. The children may be upset and frustrated that they will not be spending the holidays in the manner to which they have become accustomed over the years, and the parents can experience anxiety and anger in thinking about a holiday schedule and a shift in the family dynamic. However, there are some ways to manage feelings of stress, resentment, and sadness that can come with divorce during the holidays.

First, keep in mind that the holiday season should never be a competition. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can agree that you will not compete for time with your children during the holidays, this time of the year can run much more smoothly. Second, if it is possible to do so, remain in communication with the other parent and work together to reach a compromise on holiday plans and schedules. You do not need to talk over the phone. Instead, if it is easier, you can exchange emails. And as you consider what this holiday season will look like, take into account your kids’ needs. It can be difficult for children to have two separate Thanksgiving dinners, for instance, in a back-to-back manner at each parent’s new house. Instead consider a compromise that might also be easiest on your children.

As you think about holiday plans, now is a good time to begin thinking ahead. What kinds of new traditions can you establish with your children to make this holiday season fun and exciting? And how can you carry on those traditions in future years? With regard to future planning, now is also an important time to begin thinking beyond this year’s holiday schedule. By considering what a parenting schedule will look like for future holidays, it may be easier to reach a compromise with the other parent.

Developing Your Parenting Plan and Holiday Schedule 

Parenting plans require exes to work together in some capacity to develop a schedule that is in the best interests of their children. When it comes time to work on a holiday schedule, the process of creating a parenting plan can become more contentious. However, it is important to keep in mind that parenting plans are flexible and can be tailored to the needs of each family.

So, what do typical holiday schedules look like? There are many different options. Some examples include:

  • Parent A has the child on odd-numbered years for each holiday (e.g., Thanksgiving), while Parent B has the child on even-numbered years for each holiday;
  • Parent A always spends the first half of a holiday with the child, while Parent B always spends the second half of the holiday with the child (e.g., dividing the Thanksgiving day in half);
  • Parent A always spends time with the child on Thanksgiving, while Parent B always spends time with the child on Christmas (or any combination based on the holidays that you and your family celebrate); or
  • Schedule two of each holiday every year—for example, Parent A celebrates Thanksgiving with the child on the third Wednesday of November, while Parent B celebrates Thanksgiving with the child on the third Thursday of November each year.

Seek Advice from a Tampa Family Law Attorney

These are just a handful of examples of holiday schedules. An experienced Tampa family lawyer can help with your parenting plan and creating a holiday schedule. Contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to get started on your case.

Resource:

psychologytoday.com/us/blog/divorced-children/200812/managing-divorce-and-children-during-the-holidays

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