When you get a Michigan divorce and you and your ex share joint custody, that means negotiating parenting time on holidays. Typically, parents alternate having the kids for the holidays and spell out these annual details in their divorce settlement. Knowing the schedule and knowing you agreed to it definitely doesn’t make the reality any easier to accept. However, it is possible to survive your first post-divorce Thanksgiving, even if your kids aren’t with you.
Plan to Connect
Arrange for a time to connect with your children on your first post-divorce Thanksgiving. Whether you Facetime, talk on the phone, or text, the most important thing is to accept the day for what it is – a gap in your world – and try to fill it in ways that will be satisfying to your heart.
It might be difficult to see your kids with your ex or spending time with former in-laws or a new partner. You might have to speak to people you would prefer to avoid to get to your children (especially if your kids are small and can’t manage the technology themselves). Decide before Thanksgiving arrives what level of contact you can live with for the day. These thoughts often help people make up their mind quickly one way or the other.
It’s Just One Day
If your kids are traveling with your ex to visit family on Thanksgiving, that can put a wrench in the reassurance that you’ll see them again the next day. They might be gone all weekend per your holiday parenting time plan. You’ll know ahead of time, of course, where your children will be, how far away they will be, and how long it will take to see them again. And you can ease your heartache by reminding yourself that Thanksgiving is just one day.
Even if you’re separated from your children on your first post-divorce Thanksgiving, you can still give thanks for their presence in your life. Whether that means tucking notes in your kids’ bags or pockets to take with them to their destination, or texting each other what you’re grateful for as thoughts arise, you might discover during this separation that there are some beautiful new traditions to be established.
Figure Out Your Day
Your children have plans for Thanksgiving Day, and while they may not be where you want them to be, it’s a bad idea to ignore your own needs because you’re sad. Figure out how – or if – you plan to celebrate this first post-divorce Thanksgiving. It might be the right time to take yourself home and visit your immediate family, or you may be better off with good friends, or you may want to try out a solo Thanksgiving done your way and only your way.
Rely on Your Michigan Divorce Lawyer
There are opportunities to be found in the limitations that Michigan divorce invokes on people. That initial year after your split and all the firsts that come within it can be an opportunity to grieve or rejoice but, over time, you will find that it all gets easier. Give yourself grace and give thanks. If you need support, schedule a consultation with Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, MI.