Not all family holidays are as warm and fuzzy as the movies make them out to be. If divorce is a factor in the upcoming holiday, it could be a cause for concern, especially if there is bitterness between the parties. While it can certainly be a stressful time for everyone, Pennsylvania couples in the midst of a separation or who are already divorced may need to take some additional steps to ensure their holiday goes smoothly.
Custody issues are one of the major factors during the holidays. This is why preparation in advance is so important. Parents gearing up for holiday visitation may want to take their agreements out and dust them off. Many times instructions governing the visitation times are already in there and parents just need a refresher. Sending the other parent a friendly reminder about the schedule well in advance of the holidays could help avoid confusion or other visitation problems once the holidays are here.
Flexibility may also be necessary during Christmas and the New Year. Relatives may come in unexpectedly or during a time that conflicts with visitation. This may be a time where rocking the boat isn't a good thing. Being flexible and encouraging the visitation with the children could prevent fights from happening.
The holidays are already stressful. Having to deal with divorce and child custody issues can further exacerbate the stress. Taking the time to openly communicate with each other and work around the other parent's schedule could go a long way into fostering a positive relationship and harmonious home environment in Pennsylvania. In those situations where the parents just don't seem to be able to agree, mediation or a collaborative effort may help keep the peace and allow everyone to truly enjoy the holidays.
Source: The Washington Times Communities, "Divorced families can still enjoy happy holidays with a little planning," Myra Fleischer, Nov. 21, 2012