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Co-parents, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | family law

Target and other major retailers are starting to haul out Halloween products, even though the back-to-school season hasn’t yet started. And that means that it’s time for… co-parents to start thinking about the winter holidays! “Wait, what?” you may be thinking. “Why do I need to start talking about holiday plans in August?”

One of the keys to effective co-parenting is communicating openly and – whenever possible – with a great deal of time to spare before any particular issue becomes urgent business. That way, you and your co-parent will have time to negotiate and finalize details with less pressure bearing down on you and creating tension. As holidays are often some of the most challenging times for co-parents, it’s particularly important to be proactive in this regard.

Setting expectations early can avoid conflicts later

If you have a parenting plan in place that addresses how the holidays should be managed, you’ll generally need to defer to the terms of the document. If either you or your co-parent wants to adjust these terms for the upcoming holiday season, you’ll need to mutually agree to those terms, and you should probably formalize that adjustment in writing for good measure.

If you or your co-parent is hoping to make a more permanent alteration to the parenting plan concerning holiday logistics, you’ll either need to work with an attorney to formalize a mutually-agreeable adjustment with the court or the party requesting an adjustment that the other one refuses to accept will need to explore the possibility of requesting a formal modification. 

Thinking ahead to the holidays now can help to ensure that you and your co-parent are on the same page about what is going to happen. Everyone can plan without time-pressured tension factoring into the equation. Your future self may thank you for making this effort.