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Four Tips For Surviving Your First Holiday Season With A Parenting Plan


As we approach the holiday season, it can be easy to feel stressed instead of excited, especially if this is your first holiday season after your divorce. You most likely included guidelines for the holidays in your parenting plan when you created it. Below are a few tips to help you follow these guidelines closely and have a joyous holiday season with your family.

Comply with the Plan you Created

Whether you chose to split the holidays, alternate the holidays, or create another schedule that permits you and your former spouse to celebrate holidays with your children as you feel to be appropriate, it is necessary that you comply with the plan. Willfully disobeying your parenting plan is an act of contempt of court. In the future, you can revisit your parenting plan and modify it if it does not fit your needs, but this year, do as it instructs.

Communicate with your Former Partner

Communication with your former spouse is the key to a smooth holiday season with your children. Talk to him or her about your holiday plans, including gifts you plan to give your children so you can avoid issues of “doubles,” inappropriate gifts, and accusations of favoritism.

Be Willing to Be Flexible

With a parenting plan, flexibility and communication go hand-in-hand. Ideally, you and your former partner will follow your parenting plan’s guidelines perfectly. In reality, schedules go off-track and weather can make travel difficult. When issues arise that will force you to deviate from your plan somewhat, tell your former partner about it. If he or she contacts you with a similar dilemma, be understanding. Holidays can be difficult to navigate and co-parenting through the holidays adds an additional layer of confusion and difficulty for every member of the family.

Develop New Holiday Traditions with your Children

This is the year to develop new holiday traditions with your children. They can also include extended family members like uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents if you would like. Use the time you have with your children around the holidays to create something new you can look forward to with them each year, whether that is picking a Christmas tree together, cooking a special holiday meal together, or volunteering as a family. Your divorce meant the end of the traditions you established with your former spouse, but it does not have to mean the end of holiday traditions and cheer in your household. Try something new this year and do not worry if it takes a few tries to find the holiday tradition that works for your family.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Family Lawyer

For more legal guidance with your parenting plan and child custody order, work with one of the experienced Tampa family lawyers at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation in our office, during which we can discuss your case with you and answer any questions you have.



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