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Managing time with kids during the holidays

As Minnesota residents know, many divorces involve child custody and visitation, and this is often the most combative part of a break up for individuals who have children. In any case involving custody of a child and co-parenting, the wellbeing of the child should be the most important factor.

When a family is planning for the holidays and there is a divorce with co-parenting to deal with, it can be very stressful. Questions will come up and feelings will emerge. Parents really must think of the children and what is best for them.

Parents set an example for their children and need to remember that memories are forming while the holiday celebrations are happening. One main question that needs to be solved is whether to share the holidays or take turns hosting the entire holiday every other year.

There is even another suggestion, which is that in even numbered years, one parent would have first choice on the right to celebrate the part of the holiday that they like the best. In odd numbered years, the other parent would do the same. The parent whose year it is will have the time that they want the most with the kids and the time that remains, goes to the other parent.

In the spirit of the holidays, and taking into consideration of what the kids would like, the parent with the majority of the holiday could invite the other parent to attend the planned celebration. This could work if all of them resided locally to each other.

Holiday is a time to be generous and as parents, each needs to feel that generosity and be assured that each one will be given time to make the most of the holidays with the kids. Even if it's not the winter celebrations, there are several more holidays throughout the year.

Divorce is never easy for anyone involved, as many parents in Minnesota know. Both parents are responsible for the support and well-being of their children. Attorneys can recommend simple, smart strategies that can help clients navigate their divorces while doing what's best for their children.

Source:, "Advance Planning Now Helps Sidestep Holiday Stress Later" Tara Fass, Oct. 22, 2013

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