On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
The holiday season is arguably the most stressful time of year for every parent. With all the preparations, cooking, and vacation planning involved, it is only a matter of time before your head starts spinning from all the stress.
But those sharing child custody with their ex-spouse find themselves in a much tougher situation during the holiday season. Regardless of whether you have been divorced for years or just days, sharing child custody on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve can be extremely stressful.
Although the holiday season is supposed to be a joyful time of year, many parents sharing custody fail to get their priorities right and end up turning the holidays into a complete nightmare for both themselves and their children. All those fights, disagreements, shouting, threats, emergency court hearings… These hate-filled things can ruin the holidays for your children in the blink of an eye.
Today, we invited our Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney from The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., to provide tips on how to alleviate the stress of sharing custody during the holiday season.
Read your child custody order
Despite your ex-spouse advising you that “You need to see a shrink” during one of your quarrels, what you really need to do is read your child custody order. You may be surprised to hear this, but the vast majority of all child custody or child visitation-related disagreements during the holiday season occur because either one parent or both parents did not read their custody order or forgot about certain terms of their order.
More often than not, you will require the legal help from an experienced child custody attorney in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Florida to interpret the meaning of those terms and conditions in your child custody order. A lawyer will be able to explain who has custody on the specific holiday and how much parenting time you are entitled to over the holidays.
Give the other parent a heads up
A large percentage of disagreements and arguments that arise between two parents sharing child custody during the holiday season are caused by their failure to communicate their plans in advance.
If you know about your plans for the holidays and it will most likely interfere with your or the other parent’s custody time, be sure to notify him or her about that. Give the other parent a heads up, and give him or her enough time to think about it, especially if you will require his or her consent. This tip alone can significantly reduce the stress of sharing child custody during the holiday season.
Do not be surprised if the other parent overreacts when you let him/her know about your unexpected plans the very last minute. This can be easily avoided by communicating your plans in advance.
Treat the other parent with… respect (yes!)
Regardless of how difficult it might be, it is important to treat the other parent with respect, especially if you are sharing custody over the holidays. You know what they say, “What goes around, comes around.” Let’s imagine that your ex-spouse is asking you about one extra day with the kids so that your children can spend more time with their parent and grandparents over the holidays. You say “no,” and become overly angry.
What do you expect will happen if you ever decide to ask the other parent for a similar favor? Exactly, you guessed it. Your ex will probably remind you how you refused to give him/her extra time with the kids the last year, and so he or she will do the same to you. Would that be fair? Probably.
If you do not want to ruin this holiday season for your children, speak to a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney in the event of any disagreement, dispute, or misunderstanding with the other parent. Contact The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., for a free case evaluation. Call our offices at 954-297-6546 today.