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Prevent child custody problems during the holidays

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Divorce

In Kansas and throughout the country, many people are already looking forward to the 2023 holiday season. Raise your hand if you have carried out decoration bins from storage. If you also happen to be one of many parents who are currently or have recently navigated a divorce, you’ll want to make sure your child custody agreement is holiday-proof.  

Nothing can squelch the joy of decorating and celebrating during the holidays more than a child custody dispute. Children whose parents work together as a team are typically able to cope with divorce and move on in life, creating new customs and making happy memories during the holidays. Part of working as a team includes incorporating terms of agreement to avoid legal problems. 

Discuss gift-giving ahead of time to avoid child custody disputes 

Following a divorce, it’s not uncommon for a set of former spouses to have different parenting styles. If you and your ex want to avoid disputes during the holidays, it’s best to come to an agreement ahead of time regarding gifts. It will no doubt stir up trouble if one parent buys the kids a gift that he or she knows the other parent doesn’t want them to have.  

By keeping your children’s best interests in mind and talking things through ahead of time, you can agree on types of gifts that are or are not appropriate for your children, as well as a price limit and a plan for financial provisions. Perhaps you will agree to each pay for your own gifts or rotate years where each of you takes a turn buying the gifts. Whatever you agree to is fine; the point is to have an agreement in place to deter disputes.  

Flexibility helps keep the peace 

A detailed child custody plan is a helpful tool for parents who are navigating their first holiday season following a divorce. However, lack of flexibility can spark disputes. For example, if your ex’s extended family comes to town and wants to spend time with your children, but it’s your turn to have them at your house, consider adapting your plans for their sake. In turn, your ex may be willing to be flexible when a need arises on your end, such as picking up the kids from their friend’s house if you’re stuck in traffic and can’t get to them. 

Respect each other’s privacy 

Being flexible to accommodate co-parenting needs is one thing, but invading someone’s privacy is another. Holidays are a festive time of year; however, this doesn’t entitle one parent to barge in on the other without calling ahead. If your ex keeps showing up unannounced to take the kids out for the holidays or pays surprise visits in the hope that you’ll allow him or her to join in your celebrations with the kids, it can cause stress, as well as legal child custody problems. 

Cooperation and compromise are the keys to child custody success during the holidays. It’s also wise to know where and how to seek additional support if a problem arises that you do not feel equipped to handle on your own.