Tips for Divorced Parents During Holiday Visitation

Holidays can be an especially difficult period for any divorced family. For major holidays and birthdays, divorced parents typically must decide who gets to spend time with their children, often deciding to rotate major holidays from year-to-year between each parent. To foster good communication and positive experiences during holiday visitations, there are a few practices to keep in mind:

  • Develop a plan ahead of time: Planning ahead gives all members of a family plenty of time to communicate their feelings and prepare for the visit. This is especially helpful for newly divorced families that are still getting used to spending major milestones apart. Once you decide on a plan, stick to it. This will give children a sense of normalcy and help to avoid conflict.
  • Put your kids’ needs first: Holidays and birthdays are incredibly special for young children, and it is important that their needs and best interests are placed above those of their parents. Arguments should be avoided in your children’s presence, and their wishes should be taken into consideration when making major decisions. For instance, if your kids strongly voice their desire on how to spend a holiday, you should listen to their opinions before deciding how to move forward most appropriately.
  • Plan for two celebrations: Some families choose to celebrate certain occasions twice —once at each parent’s house. When these plans are made in advance, dual celebrations can allow for children and parents to feel like they are properly involved in each other’s lives. Separate parties can also ensure that extended family members are allowed to celebrate with the kids and may provide a unique opportunity for your family to create new traditions.

If your family is going through changes in its makeup and you would like additional legal guidance, speak with a trusted Minnesota divorce and child custody lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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