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Dividing Your Child’s Time During the Holiday Season

While many think of the holiday season as a time for family, in the case of divorce, holidays can add an extra layer of stress. Deciding issues like where your child eats Thanksgiving turkey or how the school break affects the custody arrangement can leave parents wishing it were January.

However, dividing your child’s time during the holiday season doesn’t have to result in a prolonged battle. Instead, with the help of lawyers and others, parents can come to a peaceful resolution that is beneficial to all. Here are some tips to help accomplish that:

  • Start planning now. The earlier you and your ex-spouse get together and map out the holiday schedule, the better it is for all involved. Make a proposal and listen to your ex-spouse’s concerns. If you start working on it now, you have time to go to court if you need to get it worked out.
  • Be flexible. There may be certain holidays and dates that are particularly important to your ex-spouse. Maybe your ex-spouse’s extended family is going to be in town the week between New Year’s and Christmas. If that week isn’t as important to you, be flexible and willing to accommodate. What goes around comes around, and the next time you need an accommodation, you can collect on it. Likewise, if your spouse really wants your child on Thanksgiving Day this year, you can trade that day for Thanksgiving Day next year or another holiday of your choice.
  • Reduce your agreement to writing. If you and your ex-spouse are able to agree, make sure the agreement is written down and signed and dated by both parties. Be as specific as possible regarding the details, such as the dates and times. This can be used as evidence later on if the agreement is not being followed.
  • Remember, ‘tis the season. The holidays are a time to come together. Maybe you and your ex-spouse can’t bring yourselves to celebrate the holidays together, but you can at least be civil and stop the bickering for the sake of your child.

Keeping these tips in mind can make for a happier holiday season. However, if you need help negotiating the holidays with your ex-spouse, our dedicated Rhode Island family law attorneys can help you achieve a relaxing and peaceful holiday season.

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