Divorced parents in Pennsylvania and across the country may find that the winter holiday season is a particularly challenging time, especially with all of the special events, family gatherings and important moments that take place during that time of year. Even in the most relaxed of occasions, co-parenting already can require a certain amount of difficulty and stress. The frenzied schedules that the holidays can bring add particular pressure to ex-spouses that are working on sharing parenting time and custody over the holidays. However, it also can be an opportunity for parents to show their kids how much they prioritize them and serve as an important occasion for demonstrating psychological support and a shared love for their children after a divorce.
There are some tips that can help exes handle shared parenting during the holidays to help create and maintain a positive, supportive holiday experience for the children. Communication can work towards building a positive environment despite the negative aspects of the parents' interpersonal relationship. Viewing co-parenting as a collaborative process can help make the holidays a time that's filled with great memories for everyone in the family.
This can mean being flexible and open-minded with custody and parenting time. Even though a court order established the parenting plan following the divorce, family schedules also rely on flexibility. When parents can trust each other to make agreements and respect each other's connection with their children, this can help immeasurably in reducing stress and brightening the children's experience. Good communication also can help ex-spouses coordinate gifts, activities and other holiday occasions.
The collaborative process of co-parenting can get off to a good start during the divorce mediation process. Overseen and coordinated by family law attorneys, divorce mediation is a structured process that helps both parties to achieve their goals and address key concerns in a divorce settlement. Since it is a collaborative rather than adversarial process, mediation may be a good option for parents that wish to maintain a positive and communicative relationship moving forward after the divorce.