Splitting up the holidays can often be difficult for co-parents. Maybe you got divorced over the summer and now you’re moving into the holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve – for the first time. You’re trying to determine how both of you can share custody and enjoy the special days with your children.
One option that you have is to split the actual days in half. Your children can spend the morning with one parent and the afternoon and evening with another. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
The children see both parents
Many children do prefer this setup because they want to see both of their parents. They understand if you and your ex don’t want to celebrate the holidays together, but they would still like to see both of you and not have to choose one parent or the other.
It can create more time in the car
This really depends on how close you live to one another. If the drive is only a few minutes, it’s probably not a big deal. But some couples live hours apart, so the children likely do not want to spend a holiday riding in the car between homes.
It can make things more chaotic
Another downside is that it can make a holiday feel a bit more chaotic. You never get to feel as relaxed and settled in as you would otherwise. If you have the children on Christmas morning, for example, then you may always be thinking about how you have to exchange custody later in the day.
It can be easier than celebrating together
If you’re unwilling to alternate years, seeing as how that means missing the holidays with your children entirely during some years, your only other alternative may be to have the celebration together. But this can be very stressful if you and your co-parent are not on good terms.
If you really are trying to put the children first, you want to help them avoid this type of stress. That may mean that splitting the day up so that you and your ex don’t have to spend as much time together is wise.
No matter what you decide to do, just be sure that you plan in advance. You need to know all of the legal steps to take.