Filing a petition for divorce in a Georgia court might have been one of the most difficult decisions you’ve ever made. Then again, depending on your circumstances, it might have felt more like a logical unfolding of events. Either way, if you’re like most parents, you’ve likely been concerned about your children, especially now that the holidays are fast approaching.
Divorce changes children’s lives, even in low-stress situations. For instance, if your kids are used to having both sets of grandparents to your house for Thanksgiving dinner, they might ask questions about your plans for this year. As long as you and your ex are willing to focus on their best interests and not your past relationship problems, things have a good chance of working out okay. It’s always smart to think ahead and have a support plan in mind in case a problem arises, however.
A little forethought goes a long way
You and your ex made an adult decision when you chose to sever your marital ties. That doesn’t make either one of you a bad parent. In fact, if you’re both willing to think ahead and peacefully discuss the holidays and other special occasions, such as birthdays or school events, you can devise a written plan ahead of time.
This helps avoid the confusion and possible contention that a last-minute approach often causes. Your kids don’t want to see you and their other parent fighting over where they will spend their holidays. You can incorporate your agreed-upon schedule into your child custody plan.
Avoid money arguments
Divorce definitely has a way of changing people’s finances. If you’re now a single parent with two or more children in your household, things might be a bit tight this year as you figure out your new financial normal. Discussing gift-buying and other issues ahead of time can prevent a major fall-out during the holidays. Will one of you be responsible for buying your children’s gifts or will you share the expense?
There’s no set rules about such issues. You’re free to work out a system that best fits your financial needs and provides for your children. When finances are a main concern, there are also often child support issues to address. If there’s a particular issue causing a disagreement between you and your ex, it’s best to try to resolve that before you’re headlong into the holiday season.
It’s okay to acknowledge that each parent has a right to create new customs and memories with the kids. Things do not have to stay the way they always were when you were married to each other. For instance, perhaps you always spent Christmas at home, and this year, you’d like to take the kids on a mini-vacation.
Just make sure that you are not acting against the terms of an existing court order. The idea is to work together as a team and to be willing to allow each parent to create a festive holiday season for the children in the way that he or she prefers. If a problem arises that pertains to a legal issue, it’s best to try to resolve it as swiftly and fairly as possible rather than risk putting a damper on your children’s holiday fun.