The holiday season is always hectic, but when you add the current COVID-19 pandemic to the mix, it seems destined to be more stressful than ever! For separated parents trying to deal with custody issues, Thanksgiving and Christmas present even more challenges. If you are divorced and have children, it’s important to get a good grasp of your visitation arrangement now so that you won’t have even more stress when the holidays hit.
Common Holiday Decisions
Generally speaking, divorced couples share their holidays in one of two ways. They can either opt for alternative holidays where the children will spend one Christmas with mom and then the next Christmas with dad, or they can choose to split the holiday in half. If you have the holiday split in half, it means that your ex-partner will have the kids for a set period of time and then you will have them for a set time as well during the holiday.
Consider Your Travel Plans Carefully
You may be used to taking a yearly trip to see your extended family in a different state, but if you are newly divorced, these traditions may have to change. In some custody arrangements, it will make traveling outside the state during the holidays impossible. If your arrangement does permit for travel, make sure that you let your ex-partner know the details about your trip and how long you will be gone. If your ex-partner feels uncertain about travel during the pandemic, take their concerns into consideration and attempt to reach a new arrangement for the current times. If a new arrangement cannot be reached to satisfy both parents during the pandemic, consider hiring a Philadelphian mediator or custody lawyer in Philadelphia to help you reach a more fair and comprehensive agreement.
Put Aside Your Differences to Celebrate
Parents oftentimes find that they can best care for their children’s holiday experience through putting their differences aside and co-celebrating. In these situations, ex-partners are invited to one another’s homes and events so that they can both spend the entire day with the children. While this isn’t possible for every family, it is a great option if you and your ex still get along.
Talk to a Lawyer
With all that’s going on in the world, it’s understandable that some parents feel uncertain about following a traditional custody arrangement. If you feel like your child might be at risk or have questions about the safety of the visit, talk to your family lawyer or custody lawyer to explore your options. A good family attorney is your best option to understand what is required of you in the custody arrangement and make changes when necessary. Feel free to contact our offices to discover how we can navigate your concerns and help you enjoy the holiday season through fair mediation locally in Philadelphia.
What is Mediation?
Through mediation, both parents are able to sit down with their custody attorneys to discuss their personal wishes for the holiday season before leaving the fair compromise making to the mediator. While you won’t be able to get everything you want from mediation, it gives you and your co-parent the opportunity to each share concerns and come to a place of understanding in order to reach a fair agreement. If you and your ex-partner can’t get along well enough to hash things out with each other, mediation can provide the level ground necessary to make decisions that will keep everyone safe, happy, and able to enjoy the season.
Everyone is uncertain about the holidays in 2020. By letting a local Philadelphia lawyer help you through the mediation process, you can eliminate stress for both yourself and your precious children.