The holidays are a time when everything slows down and we have the opportunity to spend quality time with our children. But what happens after or in the midst of a divorce, when the holidays come around and you and your former spouse can’t agree on who gets the children? Here are three options you can consider in divorce mediation with the help of your divorce mediator:
1. Celebrate Twice
The value of the holidays for children is spending time with each parent. They don’t care what day of the year it is, they just care that they are with you. So why not celebrate the holiday twice? One parent can have the children the week before or after the actual holiday, and the other parent can celebrate the week of the holiday. Your divorce mediator will help you set the dates to provide clarity and give everyone something to look forward to. The memory that your children will take away? “I got to spend time with mom and dad for Christmas.”
2. Divide the Holiday in Half
If you and your spouse agree during divorce mediation that the actual date of the holiday is of utmost value to both of you, then you might decide to divide the holiday. For example, the children may spend Christmas Eve with mom, and Christmas Day with dad. You can work with your divorce mediator to create this plan in an annual rotation format so mom gets the kids on Christmas Eve Year 1, but then in Year 2 she gets them on Christmas Day.
3. Alternate Annually
During your divorce mediation, you may discover that you would rather minimize the interaction with your former spouse. In this circumstance, you might decide to alternate the holiday every year. For example, mom gets the kids for Christmas in Year 1, dad gets the kids for Christmas in Year 2, and so on. Logistically, this option is less complicated than the first two options because you don’t have to coordinate schedules with each other. The downside? Less interaction for the children with each parent.
Keep in mind that these are just three of many options your divorce mediator will provide as you prepare your parenting agreement. Regardless of which option you end up choosing, remember to plan ahead. The holidays come around every year, and are easy to plan for with the help and guidance of your divorce mediator. Contact us today for a free initial consultation on how divorce mediation can help you and your spouse create a parenting agreement that works for both of you.