Divorce and the Holidays

holidays, DuPage County family law attorneyThe holidays are supposed to be a time of joy to be celebrated with loved ones, but the season can be stressful and difficult, especially for those who are going through a divorce or have divorced. The holiday season can seem lonely and challenging, with divided families and uprooted traditions. If you are divorced, and especially if you have children, it is important to be prepared for the holidays so that they can be pleasant for everyone involved.

Parenting Concerns

If you are divorced with children, yoiur parenting plan will likely dictate what to do during a holiday. In Illinois, parents have the right to spend time with their children unless it would endanger the child’s health or well-being. For many people, holidays are an important time to spend with children and family.

During divorce proceedings, a couple with children may negotiate with each other to decide who will get parenting time with the children on holidays. If they cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide for them and create a visitation schedule. Some parents may choose to have their children spend the holiday with one parent on even years and the other on odd years. They may also decide to split each holiday between the two parents, with one child spending one day or part of one day with each parent.

Some co-parents, if they have maintained a friendship, may choose to spend the holidays together with their children. In such a case, it is important to first establish some ground rules for the time together, such as no badmouthing the other parent or no undermining the other parent’s authority. If you are spending the day together, come up with a plan for the holiday and stick to it, so that no one gets upset.

Stability is important for children, so if you can, maintain your holiday traditions. Of course, the holiday will never be quite the same after a divorce, so making new traditions with your children can also be beneficial.

Communication

No matter what your holiday plans may be, the most important thing is communication with your children and your co-parent. The holidays are already a relatively stressful time, and you do not want to compound that with miscommunications. Make sure that both parents know what your holiday plans are, and that they are acceptable to both parents.

It is also important to ensure that your children know what is happening for the holiday. Divorced parents often have limited time to spend with their children, so you want to make the most of it. You do not want your children to be unhappy during your precious time together because their expectations for the holiday were not met.

The Holidays Alone

If you do not have children, or if your children are spending the holiday with their other parent, the prospect of spending the day alone can seem daunting. Make sure you have plans for the holiday. The holidays are often a family-oriented time, so celebrate with other family or with close friends. Take care of yourself, and focus on what you have, rather than what you have lost. Do not be afraid to reach out to those around you who care about you and want to see you happy.

If you are considering a divorce or are having difficulties with co-parenting, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call [[phone]] for your initial consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.10.htm

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