If you have been to just about any store lately, you have probably seen the holiday merchandise begin to come out. As Halloween rapidly approaches, the holiday season is essentially just around the corner. Even as joyous as the holidays can be, they also tend to cause stress and anxiety as people prepare, arrange for family to visit and so on.

Divorced or divorcing parents have all of the same concerns as the holidays approach with the added stress of sharing the children. Making that work and keeping the season a happy time for everyone will probably require some work.

Peaceful co-parenting is possible

If you already have a parenting plan in place, then you hopefully included a plan for the holidays. Sticking to that plan, at least as closely as possible, will help keep everything running smoothly. If you are in the midst of a divorce, then you may want to take some time now to put together at least a temporary plan. During this time of year, your parenting plan will only get you so far. Some additional steps you can take include the following:

  • You and the other parent may want to sit down and prioritize holiday events since the two of you and the children probably can’t satisfy everyone.
  • While you are prioritizing, make plans once you know the dates for all of the obligations that tend not to be scheduled until the holidays such as school plays and holiday parties.
  • As hard as it may be, you may need to be flexible. Plans change, kids want to be with their friends and other issues could come up that require some date switching. 
  • Don’t take changes personally, especially as the kids get older and start expressing their opinions and desires of who to be with and where to be.

You probably knew that you would need to work with the other parent, but around the holidays, the level of contact may increase. Following your plan and the above steps may help everything to more smoothly. If you run into any issues, you can refer back to your agreement to resolve them. If that doesn’t work, then you could go back to a Pennsylvania family law court for help.

More than likely, you will want to do whatever you can in order to make sure that it doesn’t come to that, so you may decide to use alternative dispute resolution methods. If you are still in the process of creating your agreement, then this may provide you with the opportunity to fine-tune it.

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