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Tips for Co-Parenting During the Holidays

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The holiday season is a time of family and fun, however, for separated or divorced parents, it can be a time of stress and loneliness.  Planning ahead can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty associated with co-parenting during the holidays.

1. Prioritize Open Communication

Communicate in advance the court ordered holiday parenting time schedule.  Make sure you and the other parent are on the same page when it comes to the exchange date, time, and location.  Don’t wait until the last minute to address the issues, no one wants to be handling conflict the day before a holiday.

2. Plan in Advance

If you have a court ordered holiday parenting schedule, or an agreed upon schedule, make sure it is in writing and the agreement is memorialized between the co-parents.  Place the parenting time schedule on a calendar so that the details are clear.  If you use a co-parenting communication app that has a shared calendar, place the details on that calendar so that there is no ambiguity.

3. Focus on the Children’s Well-being

Ensure that your children’s needs are considered in your planning.  Court orders are to be strictly followed; however, it may be beneficial to begin preparing your children in advance of the exchange time so that it is not a rushed, abrupt end to their holiday with one parent.  Speak encouraging words to your children about the fun times they will have at their other parents home and ensure they know you will be in touch to hear about their fun.

4. Establish New Traditions

Being a divorced or separated parent means that many times you have to be flexible to make sure your kids needs are the priority.  This may mean that the calendar does not dictate when you celebrate a holiday.  Do not be afraid to establish new traditions for your family so that your children don’t feel rushed from house to house, consider celebrating these holidays over a weekend when there is more time to enjoy one another.

5. Be Mindful of Your Attitude

Co-parenting often means that you are spending the holiday alone every other year or your holiday is split.  This can be a lonely time if you are the parent without your children.  There are many ways to avoid being lonely, some of those include, making separate plans with family or friends, attending a church service or event, or using the time to refresh your home without the children present or take time to rest and refresh yourself with a movie, sleeping in, a spa day or trying a new restaurant. 

O’Mailia Law, PPLC wishes each and every one of you a happy, safe, and healthy holiday.  If we can be of assistance, please call our office at 334-523-0661 or email Attorney O’Mailia at