In Texas households where there has been a recent divorce, parents and children might be feeling a bit anxious about the upcoming holiday season. Holidays often include personalized family customs and traditions, some of which might have to change when both parents are no longer living under the same roof. To avoid child custody problems and parental conflict during the holidays after a divorce, there are several things to keep in mind.
Throughout court proceedings, children’s best interests are always a top priority when a set of parents is working out a divorce settlement. Making this a central focus of holiday planning is equally wise. For instance, if children are having trouble coping with their parents not being together anymore, an agreement can be made to share at least one holiday festivity together, such as a meal or opening gifts. If this would spark parental conflict, it might be best to simply share the day by dividing time with the kids at each house.
Talk about gifts ahead of time to avoid issues
Co-parenting requires cooperation and clear communication on the part of both parents. Arguments over duplicate gifts or who is going to pay for what not only cause stress during the holidays, it also might impede a child’s ability to cope with a divorce in a mentally healthy way. If co-parents work out gift-giving plans ahead of time, a lot of problems can be avoided.
What to do if a more serious child custody issue arises
The joy of the holidays might come to an abrupt halt if a child custody dispute arises. However, if a co-parent disregards a court order, such as not showing up at the agreed-upon time and place to exchange custody for a holiday, a concerned parent can take immediate steps to resolve the issue by asking the court to enforce the child custody order. If a parent is unable to resolve an issue through discussion with a co-parent, he or she should not hesitate to seek additional legal support.