Eight Ways You and Your Kids Can Experience Happy Holidays During Divorce
Whether you just separated, or you already divorced, holidays can present a troublesome problem for the parents with children in a divorce. While it may feel tempting to lash out in anger, Psychology Today counsels against that. It will only hurt your children to angrily lash out, so this venerable magazine suggests forging a working relationship with your spouse.
Instead of attempting to become friends after having spent years married and presumably romantic, simply create a new relationship akin to what you would have with a co-worker. Try to behave amicably, but not overfriendly. This can help you form your holiday plans without fighting. Once you decide to do this, you can devise a way to spend the holidays as a family, whether together or separately. If you think you need assistance, contact one of the best divorce lawyers near you in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell.
Here are your holiday options:
- You make plans to spend either the eve of the holiday or the holiday itself together as a family. That means you and your former spouse put your differences aside and hold the holiday meal together or visit one another’s parents together. You must avoid anger and hostility to do this successfully. This may not become an option until you have completed your divorce proceedings.
- Choose a day to celebrate the holiday instead of having to celebrate it on the day which the actual holiday falls upon. This works if you cannot manage to spend the holiday together. For example, You could trade off year-to-year with one parent getting the kids on Christmas Eve, and the other parent having them for Christmas Day. This also works for academic breaks from school, such as the Winter Break or Spring Break. For example, the children spend the first half of Winter Break with one parent and the second half of Winter Break with the other parent. Also, as an example, you trade off year-to-year with one parent getting the children for the entire Spring Break. Then the next year, the other parent getting the children for the entire Spring Break. Alternatively, you can break up Spring Break with the children spending half of the week with each parent.
- Form new traditions. It can hurt children to attempt to recreate traditions without the other parent, so let them ask to do things that typically happen otherwise during the holiday. If you usually decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving, but both spouses are not in attendance, let the kids ask to erect the tree. You might suggest popping popcorn and having a movie night of holiday flicks or decorating the exterior of your home instead. That provides them a segway to offer that if they still want to uphold the old tradition.
- Plan activities with extending family for the times you do have visitation with the kids. Maintaining family connections and visiting with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents can help your child stay mentally healthier during and after the divorce. Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida divorce lawyer Matthew Martell can help you create a mutually agreeable holiday timesharing plan that lets you or your spouse travel out-of-state with the children if needed.
- Take care of your own health and mental health. While your former spouse has the kids, you might feel tempted to stay home and spend time alone. Wallowing in self-pity will not help you, and your kids will see it and feel it when they return. Make plans with your friends and do fun things on your own while your children visit your ex-spouse. Meet for coffee, do holiday shopping, go on a mini vacation, take a spa day, etc.
- Regardless of the time of year that you are getting divorced, make a resolution to positively improve your life. It should relate to making life better for yourself post-breakup, so try items like “get organized,” “get in shape,” “learn to cook,” “learn cooperative parenting,” etc. Stick to this resolution and do not quit until you reach your goal.
- Plan next year’s holiday celebrations a year in advance, either on your own or with the help of a Sarasota, Bradenton, or Venice, Florida divorce lawyer near you such as Attorney Matthew Martell. It is not too much. Even starting to plan the year’s holidays right after New Year’s Day works well sometimes. This lets you share dates with both sides of the family and plan ahead, so every person gets to see the children who want to do so.
- Reduce divorce and post-divorce holiday stress by working with an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney near you like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell to hire a family law attorney in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice who can help you create an amicable holiday timesharing schedule to handle each year’s celebrations.
Reduce the angst divorce can cause during the holidays by turning to a divorce legal professional to help create your holiday timesharing plan. A divorce lawyer like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell can help you negotiate making holiday plans and setting vacation dates for the holidays, so you do not have to deal with your former spouse alone, or in some cases, at all. Please contact us at (941) 556-7020 if you are serious about hiring a divorce lawyer in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida to help you with your holiday timesharing parenting plan.