Setting up a co-parenting plan during the holidays

As if the divorce and separation process isn't complicated enough, the next challenge you'll be faced with is developing a co-parenting plan. During the school year, it may be a bit easier to co-parent because your child is busy with school work and friends.

But what happens when the holdings come around? With more free time on their hands, kids tend to spend it by focusing on their environment and the relationship between you and your former spouse. This is why developing a convenient co-parenting plan will be critical for your child's well-being during the holidays. Here's how you can develop such a plan without causing tension or discomfort. 

Have a predictable schedule for your child

When schools close, children are often excited about the holidays. Creating a predictable routine allows your child to spend their holiday time productively. However, the mistake that many parents make is to subject their children to uncertainty. You may think that because the holidays are a time to relax, your child will be okay randomly moving from one home to another.

The truth is that uncertainty makes your child anxious and uncomfortable. Rather than resting, your child could feel uneasy and even become stressed. You can prevent this by developing a predictable routine. Set specific times for your child to spend with each parent and with both of you if possible. A predictable schedule is comforting for your child during the holidays.

Plan holiday activities in a convenient manner for both parents

If your child enjoys camping trips, sports training or other similar events, you should coordinate these with the schedule of both parents. Holiday trips may end up reducing the amount of time you and your former spouse have with the child. As a result, conflict may arise if one parent is dissatisfied. Make sure you both discuss any activities that your child wishes to engage in. Remember that decisions should be made with the best interests of the child in mind, rather than settling scores.

Let your child have a say

If your child is old enough, you should give them a say in custody discussions. Schedule a time where you can all meet and work out a predictable holiday routine. Ask your child what he/she prefers and try your best to include their preferences. For example, your child may opt to spend weekdays with you and weekends with your former spouse. If this request is possible, you should work towards fulfilling it. Also, remember that a child custody agreement is legally binding. This means that any party violating the contract can be taken to court.

To learn more, contact your local family lawyers.