Divorce and Child Custody Considerations Around the Holidays
Are you thinking about filing for divorce, or are you already in the middle of the divorce process? Divorce can be particularly complicated around the holidays, especially when you have minor children from the marriage. Whether you are trying to plan for the holidays with young children in the midst of your divorce, or you are simply considering your own health and well-being during the holiday season, it is important to plan ahead. The following are some considerations for divorce and child custody as the holidays approach from Divorce Magazine and Psychology Today.
Start Planning Your Parenting Time Plan as Soon as Possible
As you may know, Florida requires all parents with minor children who are divorced or otherwise no longer in a relationship to work from a parenting plan that specifies how time-sharing will work. One of the major benefits of a parenting plan is that it allows parents to have some flexibility in determining how and when they will have time-sharing and will spend time with their kids. The parents may decide that it is in the best interests of the children to split time evenly during the holiday season, and to spend each alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with each parent (for example, all odd-numbered Thanksgivings with Parent A and Christmases with Parent B, and all even-numbered Thanksgivings with Parent B and Christmases with Parent A).
No matter what kind of arrangement you have, it is important to start planning as soon as possible. Trying to make holiday plans at the last minute, assuming that you will have your children with you, can be a recipe for heartbreak during the holidays. By planning ahead, you may be able to work out a schedule with the other parent that allows you to make the most of the holiday season.
Consider Your Children’s Wishes for Time-Sharing During the Holidays
If your kids are old enough to express their reasonable wishes about time-sharing during the holidays, it is important to take their wishes or wants into consideration. Even though you ultimately may not be able to accommodate your kids, it can be extremely beneficial for them to know that you take them seriously.
Avoid Getting Caught Up in the Financial Stress of the Holidays
If you are going through a divorce during the holidays, the financial impact of your divorce can feel even more pronounced when you are trying to find money to buy gifts and to make elaborate holiday plans. It is important to keep in mind that, regardless of whether you have children, the holiday season should mean more than spending money. If your budget is tight due to your divorce and your adjustment to a post-separation budget, do not feel as though you need to break the bank in order to have a joyous holiday season. You should brainstorm ideas for holiday activities and gifts that cost less money but still bring happiness to yourself and those around you.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Orlando
While the holiday season can be extremely stressful when you are dealing with a divorce, an experienced Orlando divorce attorney can help you to plan ahead. Contact Anderson & Ferrin to learn more about how we can help with a wide variety of divorce and child custody issues.