Divorce brings a whirlwind of emotions and challenges, and when the holiday season approaches, it can feel especially overwhelming. Whether you’re in the midst of a divorce or you’ve already finalized it, here are some tips for how to prepare for the holidays in a way that prioritizes your children’s well-being and helps you find a sense of peace during this time of change.
- Start Planning Early: Planning for the holidays should begin well in advance. This is especially important if you have children involved. Avoid involving your children in discussions about holiday plans or stressing them out about the changes.
- Review Your Court Orders: If you have a court-ordered custody arrangement, review it carefully to understand your designated holiday times and exchange schedules. If necessary, discuss any needed changes with your co-parent well in advance.
- Communication is Key: Open communication with your co-parent is crucial. Discuss your holiday plans and preferences early on, including when you’d like to have the children during the holidays. Address any potential conflicts or issues proactively.
- Start New Traditions: If the divorce is recent and your children are aware of the situation, it might be best to start establishing new holiday traditions. This can help provide stability and predictability for your children.
- Timing Matters: Avoid dropping the news of your divorce on your children right before or during the holiday season. Waiting until after the first of the year is a general guideline, as telling them during the holiday season can dampen their spirits and create stress.
- Handle Separation Thoughtfully: If you and your ex-spouse choose to spend the holidays together as a family, consider the impact on your children. While it may seem like a good idea in the short term, it could lead to confusion and issues down the line.
- Avoid Dramatic Gestures: Be cautious about making major announcements or symbolic gestures during the holidays, such as removing your wedding ring on Christmas morning. These actions can add unnecessary emotional turmoil during an already sensitive time.
Ultimately, the key to navigating the holidays after a divorce is to prioritize the well-being and emotional stability of your children. Keep lines of communication open with your co-parent, plan ahead, and be sensitive to your children’s needs and feelings during this time of transition. By doing so, you can help create a positive and enjoyable holiday experience for your family, even in the midst of a divorce.
Contact Family Ally
If you have questions or need legal assistance regarding divorce or any other family law matter, please contact Jennifer Piper at 314-449-9800 to schedule a consultation. Family Ally is located at 130 S. Bemiston Ave., Suite 608, St. Louis, MO 63105.