Divorced parents in New Jersey who have taken the time to figure out the perfect parenting time schedule may discover that holidays put a wrench into the agreement. However, if both parents can put aside their differences and emotional wants, they can work out a temporary plan that is best for the children.
FindLaw outlines some tips to help make planning for the holidays less stressful. Just as taking the child’s best interest into consideration when deciding custody, it is important to consider what they want in regard to holidays, especially once they are older. After discussing their wants and needs, it is ok to list one’s own desires and priorities. Both parents will usually need to make concessions, so be open to that as well. Flexibility is key for little–to–no conflict.
It is helpful to begin discussions about the holidays far enough in advance that each party has time to plan and make reservations, if necessary. It also helps the children when they know what to expect.
Live About offers suggestions about how to deal with the less-than-ideal situation of not spending a holiday with the children. One way is to get creative by celebrating a week earlier or later. The kids will more than likely be perfectly fine with celebrating Christmas twice. One can also put more emphasis on traditions, such as baking, decorating or tree shopping, surrounding the holidays.
Spending the holidays alone can be lonely, especially during the first few years. However, it is the perfect time to pamper oneself and taking advantage of me-time. After a period of time, one may even look forward to having time away from the kids.