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How Should I Prepare to Co-Parent Over the Holiday Season?

family lighting Hanukkah candles

The holiday season is a time when families come together to celebrate. For co-parents, this can be a difficult time if you are not prepared. Reviewing your time-sharing schedule and discussing how you will celebrate the holidays with your co-parent is important.

Review Your Time-Sharing Schedule

One of the most important things you can do is review your time-sharing schedule. You might wish to do this review together, so you can discuss holiday plans and prepare for how you wish to share the holidays. During this review, you can decide whether you would like to go to holiday events with your children, split them, or combine the two. Despite being split up, you are not obligated to host separate holidays for your children, especially if you and your co-parent can collaborate and communicate effectively.

By completing this review early in the holiday season, you can make sure you understand what your child's holiday season looks like and prepare accordingly. If you believe a modification needs to be made because your child's time-sharing schedule is no longer in your child's best interests, you can meet with a modifications attorney to request changes be made.

Splitting the Holiday Shopping List

Another thing to consider is how you will split the holiday shopping list. You will want to make sure that gifts are split equitably between the two households. This can be a difficult task, but it is important to do what is in your child’s best interests.

If you split items with your child's other parent, consider how your children can perceive them. While you might not notice, your child might notice that one parent purchases larger value items while the other parent covers smaller gifts. If you believe this could be difficult, talk to your co-parent about splitting the cost of items or gifting them to your child jointly.

You should also collaborate with your child’s other parent when creating your shopping list, especially if you do not wish to buy duplicate items. Your child might share with you that they wish for one of the biggest items of the holiday season, so through communicating with your child’s other parent what you plan to shop for, you can avoid duplicate gifts and instead brainstorm alternatives. Gift-giving can be difficult during the holiday season, but you should think about what is best for your child. Do what you can, as the holidays are about the time spent together with your loved ones, not the gifts.

Doing What is in Your Child’s Best Interests

Above all else, you want to do what is in your child’s best interests. This means that you may have to make some sacrifices, such as adjusting your holiday time-sharing schedule to reflect religious holidays or your co-parent's availability. However, the holiday season is a time for family, and you want to make sure that your child has the best holiday experience possible.

If you believe that your current holiday arrangement is not suitable for your children or you are unable to co-parent with your child’s other parent, our child custody attorneys can help you understand if you are eligible to pursue a modification.

Strategic & Aggressive. DeTommaso Law Group, LLC.

If you have any questions or would like help preparing for the holiday season, our team of experienced attorneys is here to help you understand your current custody agreement. With over 125 years of combined experience, our committed legal advocates have what it takes to help families prepare for this holiday season.

If you have questions about co-parenting, schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling (908) 274-3028.