What Newly Divorced Dads Should Know About Parenting Time & Holidays

If there’s one main thing you’ll learn about being a divorced dad, it’s that communicating with your ex is essential, no matter how difficult it is. Try to start your new life on a good note by establishing a pattern of respectful, civil communication. This strategy will put you in a good position during the times of year that can become a bit more contentious, such as the holidays. If you’re ever in doubt about your parental rights, don’t hesitate to contact your family law attorney.

Establishing the Parenting Plan

Along with civil communication, a clear and concise parenting plan is important for avoiding disputes during the holidays. There are a number of ways parents decide to share holidays. It’s common for one parent to get a particular holiday with the child on even years, with the other parent getting that holiday on odd years. Other possibilities are:

  • The child spends half of each holiday with each parent.
  • The child spends designated holidays with each parent on a fixed schedule each year (e.g., Veterans Day with dad and Easter with mom).
  • The child spends Christmas Eve with dad and Christmas Day with mom on odd years, and vice versa for even years.
  • The parents each hold their own separate holidays.

In this last type of plan, one parent would have the holiday on the correct date, and the other would get the child for a “make-up” holiday on a different date.

Easing the Adjustment for Your Kids

When you were quite young, the holiday season probably seemed much more magical than it does now. Remind yourself that the different schedule is much harder for your children than it is for you. Do everything you can to make the adjustment easier for them. No matter how stressed out your ex makes you feel, don’t let your kids feel the tension, and never ask them to convey messages back and forth between you and your ex.

For effective legal advocacy services, dads can count on Singer & Associates. We routinely handle child custody, visitation, and support matters, and would be happy to advise you regarding your particular situation. Call (916) 922-5985 to reach our law office in Sacramento, CA.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Singer & Associate Law Office, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Categories: Tips for Fathers


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