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Holidays and child custody: Are you prepared?

The holiday season gets into full swing during the month of October, as families begin to prepare for Halloween. After that, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's quickly come down the pipeline.

The holidays are a time for family and friends. Unfortunately, if you share custody with your ex-spouse, you could spend more time arguing than you do enjoying yourself.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the holiday season:

  • Review your parenting agreement: It likely contains information regarding child custody, such as where your children will spend the holidays. Since this is a legally binding court order, it's critical to follow the terms and conditions.
  • Talk it out in advance: The biggest mistake you can make is waiting until the last minute to make plans. For example, the end of September or early October is a good time to discuss who will spend Halloween with your children.
  • Be flexible: It's a good idea to follow the terms of your parenting agreement, but flexibility is also critical. Maybe your ex needs to adjust their visitation schedule because of a holiday function for work. Do your best to accommodate them, as it's in the best interest of your children.
  • Don't argue about everything: There are times when you have no choice but to stand up for yourself and your legal rights in Texas. There are also times when it's best to let a potential issue roll off your back. Turning a minor disagreement into a major blowout argument will put you at odds during what's supposed to be a happy time of the year.
  • Compromise: The holidays aren't a time for selfishness. It's a time for doing what's best for everyone. Compromise is never easy when it comes to your children, but it's a must if you want to keep the peace.

The way you prepare for the holidays will have a lot to say about how things play out. If you take the right steps early on, it's much easier to get on the same page as your ex. And when you do that, you're in position to provide your children with the holiday experience they deserve.

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