How Does Child Custody Work During the Holidays After a Divorce?

Divorce is all about making compromises about child custody. Unfortunately, a child custody schedule for the holidays is usually not on many people’s minds, and it can be a tricky balance between parents. If you disagree with your ex-spouse on how you should share custody during the holidays, it will help to consult family law lawyers in Thornhill for legal counsel.

Family lawyers can guide and mediate the situation to help you and your ex-spouse reduce arguments and anxiety. The aim is to ensure the holidays are as comfortable and fun for the children as possible. While some things may not go as planned, here are some tips your lawyers may recommend to help things go more smoothly.

Refer to Your Court-Ordered Visitation Schedule

The original parenting plan issued by the court in your divorce decree can be an excellent baseline arrangement for the holiday season. Since it was drafted and approved with involvement from child custody lawyers in Thornhill and the court, it’s an excellent place to establish a visitation schedule for the holiday season.

You can stick to the plan or create a unique schedule that meets your family’s needs better. Regardless of your agreement with your ex-spouse, ensure you align with the original plan. Then, review it with the help of skilled Thornhill family law lawyers to ensure you uphold the provisions in creating a holiday schedule.

Identify the Holidays That Matter the Most in Your Visitation Schedule

Discussing the holiday schedule with your ex-spouse in advance is essential. The holidays that matter the most to you and which you may want to spend with your children may not necessarily be important to them.

The days you and your ex-spouse decide on as the most important can be given special consideration that deviates from the usual custody schedule. Examples are:

  • Mothers’ Day
  • Fathers’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • President’s Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Your child’s birthday

Once you agree on the most important holidays, you can create a holiday visitation schedule that works for you and the children. You can arrange to have the children on alternating years if you both wish to have the children on the same holidays. Child custody lawyers in Thornhill can oversee your holiday visitation schedule to ensure it is effective and enforceable.

Set Realistic Expectations

Setting a holiday visitation schedule is one thing, and being realistic is another. In creating a plan, don’t be too focused on the best-case scenario that you forget about unforeseen circumstances.

Changes in the schedule might inevitably happen, with things coming up when you least expect them, so plan accordingly.

Some tips to help you be realistic in your plan are:

  • Acknowledging your life plans and schedule may not be as they were before the divorce.
  • Thinking of the action you can take if changes come up affecting your holiday visitation schedule
  • Not neglecting your emotions, given that holidays after a divorce can be emotionally draining if you’re newly divorced. Not spending these special times as a family can be heartbreaking, so acknowledge these feelings and help your children cope too.

Consult skilled Thornhill child custody lawyers if you need help being realistic with your holiday visitation schedule. They can evaluate your family situation and help you determine the best way forward while upholding your rights, advocating for the child’s best interests, and honouring child custody and visitation laws.

Be as Effective as Possible in Communication

One of the common challenges among divorced parents is a need for more communication on matters affecting their children. Ineffectiveness in communication can tear even the best co-parenting plan into shreds. Ensure you discuss every vital detail as soon as it arises, avoiding shelving it for a better time, which often never comes before an argument arises.

With all the communication options available, you also want to ensure you have evidence of your communication if a problem arises later on. Use email and texts to your advantage when conveying crucial information, for example, changes in the holiday visitation plan. That way, you can also have a reference point to avoid disagreements and confusion.

Let It Be About the Children

Your divorce may not have been amicable, but you don’t have to drag the issues around it into your holiday visitation schedule. The holidays are an opportunity to spend time with your children and continue building a solid relationship with them. So, focus on what will make them enjoy the moment.

If your children are old enough, talk to them in advance and tell them where they will spend each holiday and with which parent. Let them in about the parenting plan and any planned activities. That will make them feel loved and important in your decisions.

Should I Hire a Lawyer When Creating a Holiday Visitation Schedule?

Dealing with child custody and visitation after a divorce can be stressful. People often fail to make the best decisions because they’re not in the right emotional state and want to get over the situation.

That’s why consulting skilled child custody lawyers in Thornhill is crucial. As legal advocates, the lawyers will guide you objectively to a fair arrangement. Legal experts’ involvement also ensures the child’s best interests are prioritized, despite what either parent thinks.

Create a Parenting Plan That Works With the Help of a Skilled Child Custody Lawyer

Holidays after a divorce can be stressful for everyone involved. You want the best for your children and yourself, but your ex-spouse may not be willing to let that happen. Working with experienced family law layers in Thornhill when creating a holiday visitation schedule can help minimize the squabbles.

Our child custody lawyers provide legal counsel and representation for clients faced with custody and visitation issues. We know how to navigate the complex legal system for the most favourable outcome and can help you. Contact K&Y Law P.C. at 905-597-8529 for sound advice on resolving child custody issues.