Navigating Your Child Custody Agreement During the Holidays

Nov 30, 2020 Child Custody

As though co-parenting with your former spouse wasn’t challenging enough, the holidays bring on a whole new set of issues to navigate with your ex and your children. Each parent will likely want to spend time with the kids, and in the wake of COVID-19, there is likely plenty of hesitation regarding your usual travel arrangements or gathering plans. With added fear and discomfort surrounding this year’s holiday season, you might wish to consider speaking with an Irvine child custody attorney if your custody arrangement needs some aligning. Your attorney can offer tips or strategies for making the holidays as stress-free as possible.

Eager to get a conversation going with your former spouse? Below we review some steps you can take on your own to plan effectively for the holidays.

Plan Ahead and Be Transparent

With COVID-19 affecting how families all over California navigate their child custody arrangements, you might wish to consider having an open and honest conversation about the holidays with your former spouse. Now would be a good time to communicate your hesitation and fears surrounding travel, gatherings, and typical holiday plans. If your current arrangement allows your former spouse to travel with the kids and you’re just not feeling comfortable about that this year, consider letting your former spouse now. 

The most important thing to avoid is making holiday or travel plans with your children without informing your former spouse. In most instances, this will create discord and might even represent a breach of your custody arrangement or parenting plan. If you’re finding it impossible to agree on the best approach for the holidays with your former spouse, you may wish to speak with an Irvine child custody attorney and revisit your custody agreement. Usually, having a third party mediate the conflict will be the best way to resolve it.

Agree on Gifts and Gift Giving

Not every parent will have access to the same types of gifts, and this might create an opportunity for one parent to unwittingly garner favor with the children in a manner that isn’t necessarily healthy. You may be discouraged to find that your former spouse is attempting to win your children’s favor through lavish gifts or expensive vacations during the holidays, or may disagree on what’s an appropriate gift for their age or your parenting style. 

Before the holidays arrive, have a conversation with your former spouse about what your plans are for gifts and consider how you might align each of your ideas or intentions around presents this year, ensuring that each of you is on the same page.

Bring Your Irvine Child Custody Attorney into Any Difficult Conversations

You might be hesitant to call your lawyer when a conflict arises, but sometimes doing so is the best way to handle a disagreement around your holiday parenting plan. Contact one of our Irvine child custody attorney about the best way to engage your former spouse without creating further strife, and ensure that this holiday season is a fun and relaxing one.