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Tips for co-parenting during the holidays

Co-parenting at any time of the year is a challenge. You try to do what's best for your children, all the while taking your personal beliefs and feelings into account. And that doesn't even consider what your ex-spouse is doing.

When the holiday season arrives, a seemingly smooth co-parenting experience can go haywire. The primary reason for this is both parents wanting to spend as much time as possible with their children.

These co-parenting tips can help you clear the air and reduce tension during the holiday season:

  • Share your schedules in advance: The sooner you discuss your schedule with your ex, the sooner you can hash out the details and decide what does and doesn't work. If, for any reason, your plans change, immediately consult with you ex.
  • Split the day: When possible, do your best to allow your children to spend time with both parents on holidays. For example, your children may spend Thanksgiving morning with you, while heading to your ex's house for dinner. This gives both parents the opportunity to spend quality time with their children on the actual holiday.
  • Get together: It's not always easy or even possible, but try to spend some portion of the holidays with your children and ex. This can be as simple as visiting Santa Clause as a family.
  • Don't turn every disagreement into an argument: If you're looking for a fight, it won't take you long to find it. However, if you let every minor disagreement turn into a major fight, it will ruin the holidays for you, your ex, and, most importantly, your children. Keep your cool and let disagreements roll off your back.
  • Lean on your parenting agreement: If your parenting agreement and visitation schedule include language regarding holidays, stick to the plan as closely as possible. You agreed to this plan during your divorce and it's legally binding, so it's likely to provide the guidance you need.

No matter how hard you try, you may run into one co-parenting problem after the next during the holidays. If your ex continues to violate your parenting agreement, learn more about your legal rights in Maryland and how to obtain a modification from the court.

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