When a divorced couple shares children, their Michigan divorce decree will outline how holiday parenting time shakes out every year. There are creative ways to make the Christmas season joyful and happy for your kids and get you as much time as possible with them. As you develop your parenting time schedule, consider the following creative planning options and consider whether they can work for your new family unit.
One of the most common arrangements for kids of divorced parents at Christmastime is alternating years of celebration. Meaning, mom gets the kids on even years and dad gets them on the odd years. Another way of doing this is one parent gets the kids on Christmas Eve for an overnight stay until midmorning on Christmas Day when they go with the other parent for an overnight stay. Vice versa the following year.
But there are ways to finesse this arrangement. Maybe one parent cherishes Christmas Eve more than December 25. It can be arranged for that parent to have every December 24 and the other parent to have Christmas Day if that satisfies you both.
If your relationship with your ex is amicable enough, the parent who has the kids for the Christmas Eve night could invite the other parent to visit on Christmas morning for gift opening – or invite them to have the holiday meal together or maintain some family holiday tradition together. Many families with younger children try to make this parenting time routine work for the sake of the kids so they aren’t shuffled around more than necessary on a day they just want to be in their PJs and play with their new toys.
The most important consideration with this arrangement is to ensure that parents can indeed put aside their differences and get along for the sake of the kids during your togetherness. If you will be arguing or there will be tension because you’re together, it’s better to keep yourselves split. The kids will register the discomfort, and that isn’t a happy holiday for anyone.
Things to Consider
Eventually, new people are likely to enter the family picture. One parent may get remarried, welcome stepchildren, or have more children with their new spouse. How will this alter the Christmas landscape? It may be necessary to revisit your Christmas parenting time plan to ensure that everyone is still comfortable with the holiday plans.
If traveling to grandparents’ homes has always been a family tradition, the logistics of travel plans will need to be considered to ensure that the parenting time order is followed and all parties are satisfied. Unfortunately, some typical traditions will have to change because of divorce – be sure to consider your kids’ feelings in all of this and how the alterations will affect them. A little inconvenience for the parents on this holiday for the sake of the kids will be worth it.
As your kids get older, they may express a wish to change how Christmas pans out. Take their feelings and opinions into consideration – they may have a better idea than you expected that includes old traditions or new traditions.
If you need support during your Michigan divorce with child custody and parenting time, contact the family law attorneys at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb to schedule a meeting.