Preparing for the First Holiday after Divorce
1. Plan During your Divorce
Think about what your traditions and usual plans for the holidays have been in the past. What do you want them to look like after your divorce? Which holidays are important to you? And which are important to your ex? Can there be a way to work in traditions for your kids and what you want also? Think outside the box- don’t worry about what others might say if it is for the best for you and your kids.
2. Remember that You Will have a Relationship with the Other Parent
Your relationship will change but it will continue. While you are working on your possession schedule and parenting plan, consider your kids. Your relationship with the other parent of your kids will go on for years beyond your divorce. What kind of relationship that is depends partly on you – not entirely, but partly. If you burn your bridge to easy communication with your ex during the divorce, don’t expect it to be smooth when you are finished. Keep this in mind when communicating and negotiating. You can disagree without being disagreeable.
3. Your Kids Will Grow and Change
Remember that your kids will grow and change over the years. If the first holiday or couple of holidays after your divorce will be special, try to plan for those specifically. And consider that you may not want to do that ‘special’ plan when your kids are 11 or 13 years old.
4. Big Picture for Your Life after Divorce
Remember to look at the forest and not just the trees. It is so very hard to remember to think about years down the line for your life and your kids but try to think beyond the next 12 months. Global questions like what do I want Christmas to look like for myself and my children not just after divorce but in the future, can help you understand what your positions are on holidays after divorce. Your answer could be that you want your kids to have good times with both parent and smooth transitions.
Your first holiday after your divorce can be as great as you want it to be. It just takes a little planning and work. As always, this information is not specific advice for you and your situation. Contact an experienced family matter lawyer for your questions.
Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454