Everyone wants a happy holiday season. However, sometimes the emotion from a divorce can impact the holidays in negative ways, especially for fathers. If you're a divorced father, here are some tips for how you can avoid an unhappy, unhealthy holiday season.
It is never too early to start confirming holiday schedules and visitation arrangements. It's important to know the details, such as will the children be with both parents on Christmas Day? If so, how are they being transported and what time will the trade-off occur?
Most children want a structured holiday where they can see both parents if possible. Leaving the day up to chance or having a "general idea" about how it will go is asking for disappointment and a not-so-stellar day.
Be accommodating and flexible when discussing plans with your ex. Always remember that the holiday is all about your children and their needs come first. One of the advantages of planning early is that if you can't agree on a holiday plan or you feel like your ex is not going to honor the agreement from court, then you have plenty of time to talk to your attorney and get their help in coming to a fair and equitable solution.
There are other things you can do if you are a divorced father during the holidays.
Remember that your children shouldn't be put into the middle of a conflict, especially not during what is supposed to be a happy time for them. If you're at war with your ex, do everything you can to shield the kids from the conflict, and if you don't have anything nice to say about your ex, keep their name out of your mouth!
If you need to make changes in the holiday visitation schedule, make sure to contact your attorney. Some changes may need to be approved by the court. At the very least, you will want to get any agreed upon changes in writing.
It never hurts to ask the children what they would like to do over the holidays. There may be something special they've always done as a tradition that they would like to do or a particular place they like to go. Honor their wishes as much as possible, while also gently making an effort to create new traditions.
Think ahead. Your attorney is your best friend when it comes to fixing problems that may arise during the holidays. Even fathers who do their absolute best to avoid conflict and accommodate their ex can sometimes run into a wall of hostility from someone who is not operating in either the child's best interests or the spirit of the season. If you think there's an issue, it's best to let your attorney know.
The holidays can be such a special time, and it's an excellent opportunity for fathers dealing with divorce to bond with their children and create new memories and traditions.
At Family Matters Law Group, we are known for being the Atlanta father's rights attorney, we've helped many fathers fight for their rights and their families. We know how important it is for you to make sure your children have a season to remember and we're ready to hear your story and help make that happen.
If you're in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or live in the Atlanta metro area, set up a consultation by simply calling or using our convenient online contact form. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!