There’s a lot to think about when it comes to child visitation. You have birthdays, vacations, weekends and more. However, no time can be more stressful than the winter holidays, especially if you are newly divorced.
In most cases, parents will want to see their children as much as possible. If there is no agreed-upon schedule in place, the situation could become stressful and tension-filled for all parties.
Thankfully, there is a process in place to help parents avoid those stressful moments in New Hampshire. Here is how co-parenting should work around the holidays.
How Co-Parenting Works in New Hampshire
New Hampshire law is written with the belief that children will do better when both parents are part of their lives. So co-parenting is encouraged, and children should have frequent contact with both parents. If a situation with a parent could be detrimental to the child, the courts will create different arrangements.
How children should spend their holidays is usually decided during these divorce proceedings. When parents divorce, custody is established. Then a child visitation schedule is created. A holiday schedule is also included, along with other special situations like vacations and extended weekends.
A holiday schedule helps to eliminate the stress parents and children can have during the season. It also alleviates conflicts with the regular visitation schedule. For example, if one parent is supposed to have a child during a week with a holiday, but it is the other parent’s holiday, the holiday schedule is the deciding schedule.
Co-parenting holiday schedules do not need to be etched in stone. Many families choose to have the child alternate holidays or alternate a particular holiday like Christmas. But families can also do it in other ways. They can group holidays for one parent or have children split time on the same day.
How Parents Can Make it Easier for Children
Even the best-laid plans can go wrong, and holiday custody schedules are no different. However, there are several ways parents can create positive, healthy environments for their children without disagreements that can ruin it for everyone.
First, if children are old enough, parents should seek their input. If a child wants to spend more time with one parent, the request should be considered. By showing they understand the child’s feelings, they’ll make the child feel much more comfortable about the situation.
Second, parents need to communicate as best as possible. They should strive to keep from making the child the messenger. If parents are able to discuss what’s best for the child, it can lower the tension and stress levels.
The holidays can be some of the best times of the year for children. When parents fight over visitation or fail to follow the agreed-upon schedule, it can ruin the holidays not only for themselves but for their children too. Flexibility, patience and understanding are vital for parents to stay sane, especially as families start celebrating new traditions after a divorce.
One thing has the most significant impact, though: Having and honoring a holiday visitation schedule will make it easier for the children.