Divorce can feel like it changes everything, but when you’re a divorced parent, you are still a parent. You are always a parent – and that mean that so is your ex-spouse. When you have children, your divorce means that you are going to be divorced parents working through the holidays together.
Here are 5 of the tips I give in my office for holidays after divorce.
1) Finish your Divorce Strong
My first tip for you whether you’re a divorced father or divorced mother, is to finish your divorce strong. Finish your divorce well. When your divorce is finished, you will get your divorce decree from your divorce attorney. Next step is for you to read your divorce decree. Now is the time to contact your divorce attorney, if you have questions or don’t understand something in your decree. Don’t stash it in a drawer, no matter how much you want to do that. And, then read your final decree of divorce a second time. If you don’t want to read the whole thing at one time, read it in parts. But, whatever you do, read it. When you have finished your divorce you will be relieved, and many other emotions, and it is time to get on with the rest of your life and you need to know how and what to do post-divorce. Refresh yourself on your possession schedule including holiday schedule, your weekend schedule and your summer schedule. If you have a question, now is the time to call your divorce lawyer.
2) Keep a Copy of Your Divorce Decree Handy
My second tip is to keep a copy of your divorce decree handy where you can refer to it if you need to double-check what happens on a Friday school holiday with your kids or what day does Thanksgiving possession really start because your kids are now in a new school or school district. And, sometimes you will need to review your divorce decree because you and your ex-spouse are discussing or disagreeing about something in the divorce decree. Make a hard copy of your decree, a pdf copy of your decree or take a picture of the important pages to keep on your phone. The day will come when you need to look at it – and especially when it comes to the holidays.
3) Know the School Schedule
Third tip is to know your kids’ school schedule including school day start and end time, holiday schedules, spring break schedules. You have to know that schedule as well as you know your work schedule. An early dismissal could mean that your pick up and drop off has changed. Thanksgiving possession time could start when school lets out on the Friday before Thanksgiving or when school gets out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving – but you won’t know what day your Thanksgiving possession starts unless you know what your Divorce Decree says and what the school schedule is going to be. And, you don’t want to miss any time with your kids or leave your kids waiting for you to pick them up.
4) Early Notice and Early Ask
The holidays are hectic for all of us. Ask for changes or let your ex know if you have to make a change as soon as possible. You will have a higher chance of getting what you ask for, and will reduce stress and tension if you communicate early and often.
5) Remember You’re in for the Long Run
Final tip is to remember this is just one holiday out of many to come. If you ask for a change and your ex is unwilling or unable to accommodate, just take it in stride. If your ex asks for something, consider it fully. At some point, you will be the one asking or receiving a request. Take a breath – and consider your divorced relationship with your ex when you make a decision.
For more tips, make an appointment with Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454. This post is for informational purposes only. You need specific advice for your case.