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How to Handle Holiday Parenting Time Conflicts in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney parenting time

After a divorce, sharing parenting time with your former spouse throughout the year can be difficult, and sharing time on the holidays can be even harder. It is not easy to get used to the idea that you may be apart from your children at such a meaningful time, but it is important to recognize that your children need to be able to spend time with both parents. While you and your ex may not agree on every detail regarding holiday parenting time, you should try to practice healthy ways of managing this disagreement.

Co-Parenting Suggestions for Important Holidays

Whether this is the first holiday season after your divorce or you have been trying to successfully co-parent for years, these tips may help you manage conflict with the other parent more effectively:

  • Create a plan in advance. Effective holiday co-parenting begins with the creation of your parenting plan during the divorce process. Creating a parenting time schedule that applies throughout the year is important, but this schedule is usually not sufficient to account for the unique aspects of holidays. Therefore, you should include provisions that specifically address holiday parenting time, including whether you will alternate holidays with the other parent each year, or divide time on each holiday. Another factor to consider is parenting time when your kids are on winter break from school. 

  • Communicate regularly. Whenever possible, frequent communication with the other parent throughout the year is important to ensure you are on the same page when it comes to raising your children. As the holidays approach each year, you should aim for clear communication so that you and your ex-spouse fully understand the holiday plans and how you will manage shared time and transportation between homes.

  • Be flexible. It is a good idea to adhere to your plan as much as possible, but the changing circumstances of each new year may require some flexibility. If the other parent wants to keep the children for a few hours longer, or trade holidays with you, you may find that being agreeable is the best way to minimize conflict and encourage your ex-spouse to be flexible in accommodating your own future requests. If you find that you or your ex are repeatedly asking for accommodations, it may be best to pursue a legal modification to your parenting agreement.

  • Prioritize the best interests of your children. Keep in mind that while the holidays may be important to you as a parent, your parenting time schedule should first and foremost account for the best interests of your children. If your ex is asking for something that you know would make the holidays more enjoyable for your kids, even if it means you will have a little less time with them, you should give the request serious consideration.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

As you prepare to manage the challenges of the holidays after your Illinois divorce, an experienced St. Charles divorce lawyer can offer guidance regarding your holiday parenting plan. At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we understand the challenges co-parents face, and we are committed to helping you find a solution that works. Call us today at 847-428-7725 to request a free consultation.







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