During a “normal” year, co-parenting during the holiday season can be a challenge in itself and prone to conflict. But what about 2020 has been “normal”? Many families are celebrating differently during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For co-parenting families, there is an additional layer of potential challenges to navigate. Not only do they have to worry about COVID exposure for their own household, they have to consider their co-parent’s situation as well.
Have a Holiday Parenting Plan
If you have a custody schedule, re-read it. Many times, custody terms have arrangements for holidays. One parent may take the first half of winter break while other takes the latter, for example. These terms may seem straightforward, but make sure you plan the calendar ahead of time. Use a calendar to map out the dates and times and make sure you agree. When you are certain when you will have custody, it’s easier to plan events and celebrations for your time.
Try to keep your existing holiday parenting plan. If it needs to be modified or if you do not yet have a holiday parenting plan, start creating one now. Do not wait until the last minute. Discuss your expectations and goals for the winter holidays, including your children’s time off from school. Remember that both parents may have family traditions that are hard to pass up.
Communication is Key
While open, frequent, and timely communication is generally of utmost importance, it is all the more important when planning your 2020 holiday season. Communicate with your co-parent as soon as possible if you think your customary schedule, family gatherings or travel arrangements will have to change because of the virus.
Be straightforward with each other about your goals for the holidays. Discuss how to have a holiday that is both happy and safe for everyone. Be open and honest about any planned travel, the location and size of any holiday gatherings, and the health and safety precautions in place for those gatherings and the people attending them, especially your children.
Discuss COVID-19 Precautions
Do not use the pandemic as an excuse to withhold or modify holiday parenting time, but if you believe that your co-parent’s plans expose the children to unnecessary health and safety risks, have those conversations now. Discuss whether some of those concerns can be reasonably alleviated.
Start new traditions. The fact that the holidays look a little different this year does not need to be a negative thing. Maybe this year you bust out the pajamas and have a full-day holiday movie marathon, at-home cookie decorating contest, or Zoom session for carol-singing. Keep the magic and fun alive for your children and ensure that the 2020 holidays are their best yet.
Custody Concerns with Davis, Ernis, and Roberts
If you still can’t come to an agreement about your custody schedule, it might be time to hire one of the experienced defense attorneys at Davis, Ernis and Roberts. Our firm is built with attorneys who understand divorce and child custody better than most, and we’re willing to work with you for the best possible outcome. Call or visit our website to get in touch with an experienced attorney today!