Co-parenting during the holidays can be stressful and often leads to arguments between parents. Throw Covid-19 into the mix and you’ve got a potential recipe for a truly tough holiday season. But with a bit of planning and understanding, co-parenting during the holidays in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t have to be fraught with the tension, trouble, and anxiety you’d expect.
Divorcees Who Don’t Get Along
While it would be nice for divorcees to remain pleasant and respectful of one another for the sake of the children, this just isn’t always reality. In many cases, one parent may be using the Covid-19 crises as a means to secure more access to the children and deny the other parent any access at all.
In fact, many parents have sought to deny visitation to children by the other parent if their job is potentially risky, such as a hospital worker. Many have even gone to court, or have forced their ex to go to court in order to retain visitation rights. It should be noted that many courts across the nation have already ruled that the pandemic is not a sufficient reason to deny a parent their visitation rights.
If you are having trouble with visitation rights due to Covid-19, you can seek legal counsel. Hopefully, the matter can be resolved before the holidays.
On the Other Hand…
Divorced parents who normally don’t get along have managed to collaborate on visitation in the wake of the new social distancing guidelines, sharing responsibilities on home schooling and ensuring their children’s safety.
Even if you or your ex doesn’t necessarily believe that Covid-19 is as serious as many in the nation claim it to be, you still need to take the proper precautions not only to protect your children, but also to protect yourselves. Remember to keep your homes clean and if you go out with your children, follow the safety precautions outlined in your area.
Tips for a Peaceful Holiday Season
To facilitate co-parenting during the holidays, do your best to put any negative feelings toward your ex aside and remember that your children are bound to be most affected by the decisions you make. Divorce is hard enough for children to understand and manage — you don’t want to add to the dismay by creating an adverse holiday experience.
Remember that your children have also had a big change in their lifestyle not only from the divorce, but also due to Covid-19. Maybe they don’t get to see their friends as much, and many schools are closed. Co-parenting can actually be a big benefit to your children at this current time, because it allows the children to enjoy time in two houses, rather than being cooped up in one.
Try to discuss the holiday arrangements well beforehand with your ex, away from the children in case any arguments erupt. You will need to put your emotions aside, and, if possible, present a united effort for giving your children a great holiday. You can go back to disliking your ex afterward, but at least your children will have experienced happiness during the holidays, which is a better gift than anything you might purchase for them.
Maybe there were activities you used to all do together, or maybe you’d like to start some new holiday traditions with your children. There is no reason you can’t do both. With some planning and probably some compromise, you can work out a reasonable schedule for enjoying the holidays.
But you must also be willing to be flexible. Not everything always goes according to plan, but if you make sure to keep the children a priority, you’ll be able to weather any unexpected storm.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If communication seems a near impossibility, don’t be afraid to ask for help in the form of a mediator. This can be a mutual friend or a relative, or you can even seek help from an experienced family counselor.
Talk to Each Other About Gifts
Your children may have spoken to both of you about what presents they would like to receive this holiday season. Coordinate the gift-giving so that you don’t purchase the same gifts for your kids. This also gives you the chance to make sure all gifts are appropriate and possibly set a money limit so that neither of you feel as though the other is trying to gain more favor with your children through overly extravagant gift-giving.
Try Not to Get Overwhelmed
Lastly, remember to take of yourself, too. The holiday season is often stressful enough for many without divorce or a pandemic in the picture. Keep aware of your mental and physical health, so that you too can enjoy the holiday season to the best of your ability.
Why You Should Use a Connecticut Child Custody Attorney
If you are unable to resolve these disputes, Rochlin Law Group is an award-winning Connecticut divorce and child custody law firm that resolves many of the family conflicts that are discussed here. Whether you are going through a separation/divorce or experiencing problems with custody arrangements, Rochlin Law provides you with a helping hand at this difficult time.