The holiday season requires planning for many people. When you have a child custody agreement, you might find that there are more considerations than if you and your ex were still living together. Starting early to get this done can help you figure everything out without rushing at the last minute.
Depending on the situation, there are many factors that you need to sort through. Many require you to work with your child's other parent to come up with the specifics of the holiday season. Here are some pointers to help you get started:
Do you need child care?
One issue that many parents don't take the time to work through is the need for child care for kids who are usually in school but will be out on break. Unless you or a family member can care for the children, you need to set up the plans for this as soon as possible. If you and your ex split the time the kids are out of school, you need to find out how to handle this. Consider these ideas for your parenting plan:
- Will the child remain with the same caregiver, regardless of which parent they are with?
- Who will pay the expense?
- How will reimbursement be handled if necessary?
Will the schedule change?
Look at the child custody schedule to find out if any changes occur during the holiday season. Even if there is a plan in place in the documents for when each parent will have the kids, touching base with your ex might be beneficial. This gives you a chance to review transportation plans and finalize dates, times and locations for exchanges.
What events must be discussed?
The holiday season can come with special events for the children. Plays and similar functions are times when they might want both parents present. Whether only you and your ex are attending these events or if you have family members coming, set rules for behavior. The focus must be on the kids, so do not bring up anything negative. If you need to discuss contentious matters, wait until you and your ex can discuss them in private.
There are times when the current custody order isn't going to address pressing problems. If you and your ex can't come up with an agreement about how to handle things, you might have to go back to court to hash everything out via a modification.