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Navigating child custody and the holiday season

| Nov 25, 2020 | Child Custody

From navigating family obligations to sneaking in gift shopping on one’s own, getting ready for the holidays in Kentucky can be quite a task. Navigating the holiday season while sharing child custody with an ex presents its own unique set of issues. The good news is that addressing the holidays in advance — even while creating one’s child custody agreement — can make things easier for most co-parents.

Flexibility may be key to making the holiday season run smoothly. What works for the rest of the year might simply not be applicable to sharing time on important holidays. For example, it is helpful if both parents are willing to be flexible when unexpected schedule changes throw a wrench in previously established plans. This does not mean one parent needs to always make changes for the other, but it does mean that demonstrating a willingness to work with one another can relieve stress for everyone involved — including the child.

Part of the key to flexibility is how parents approach it, though. Demanding schedule changes from another parent rarely goes over well. As with many things in life, it is better to make requests rather than demands. The parent needing the change in plans is usually the one who sets the tone for the exchange, and starting things off on a calm note may make it a less emotionally charged affair.

Acknowledging and accepting that the holidays are going to be different is another important step. When divorced parents are no longer striving to exactly recreate past holiday traditions, they may be better equipped to create new, lasting memories for their children. Dealing with this part of a child custody agreement is not always easy though, especially when much of the hurt of divorce is still very much there. Working closely with an attorney who is well versed in Kentucky family law matters may prove beneficial for divorcing parents who are ready to approach child custody.