As a Louisiana parent who has filed for a divorce, it is understandable that you want to keep the peace with your ex and achieve a co-parenting agreement centrally focused on your children’s best interests. In most cases, kids are resilient and able to cope with a divorce and move on in life with minimal disruption and stress. You might determine that a shared child custody arrangement is best for your kids. However, that does not necessarily mean you must share everything, such as holidays and special occasions.
Throughout the year, your children will have birthdays, school events and other times of celebration, such as the upcoming holiday season. Sharing custody does not mean that you and your ex must spend this time together, unless, of course, you choose to do so. If you would rather not, then you can devise a custody schedule for holidays and special events.
Start your child custody holiday plan by writing a list
You can use an old-fashioned pencil and paper or a cell phone app or spreadsheet. Whatever tool you choose, use it to create a list of all the holidays, birthdays and special occasions you know that you or your ex will want to celebrate with your children this year. Keep in mind that unexpected occasions may arise, such as a school concert or party. To start, however, simply list all the dates you are currently aware of, and determine which parent will have custody that day.
What if you both want to celebrate the same holiday with the kids?
If you and your ex both feel strongly about celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Kwanzaa, etc., with your children, consider dividing the hours of the day. One of you can be with the children in the morning and part of the afternoon. The other one can have them for the evening and overnight. Another option is to host your celebration on a different day. In other words, you both have the kids for Christmas, for instance, but you celebrate Christmas Eve with them, and your ex gets Christmas Day.
Rotating holidays by year is an easy way to go
Many Louisiana parents find it easiest to swap holiday time with their children by year after a divorce. In your family, this might mean that one year, you have your children for Christmas break and New Year, and your ex has them for Thanksgiving and Easter (or the Fourth of July or whatever holiday you choose). The following year, you trade off.
When both parents are committed to developing a fair and agreeable child custody schedule, it is possible to minimize the stress of a divorce and help the children continue their favorite holiday customs and traditions, making sure they have ample time with both parents.