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blog home Divorce Mediation Surviving the Holidays after Divorce: Getting Your Kids When You Want Them

Surviving the Holidays after Divorce: Getting Your Kids When You Want Them

By Nottage and Ward on December 21, 2011

During the holidays, both parents want to spend time with their child or children. But deciding who gets the children and for which holidays can be a highly contentious. It is very possible that the divorced couple stipulated how the holidays would be handled in their child custody arrangement, but oftentimes, this isn’t the case and a divorced couple has a very difficult time agreeing on the best way to “share” their kids during the holidays. The best way to come to an agreement is to be flexible.

Being flexible is an important part of making the holidays work for your family. Children look forward to the holidays because of how they are celebrated, not what day they fall on. The two usual arrangements are:

  1. Alternating holidays, where one parent gets their children on certain holidays, but not others; and
  2. Designating days of celebration, where one parent gets their children on the actual holiday and the other gets them on a different day. In this arrangement, both parents get to celebrate each holiday with their children on different days.

If your ex-spouse insists on having the kids for Thanksgiving Day, ask for them the day after; if your ex-spouse insists on having them Christmas Day, take them on Christmas Eve. If your ex wants them for every single holiday and will not discuss the matter, it may be time for mediation.

Holiday traditions are a big part of a child’s life and so it is important that divorcing parents have a plan. An amicable divorced couple may have no problem coming to a holiday child custody agreement on their own, but in many cases, divorcing parents have to include a holiday arrangement in their child custody agreement. Mediation can be very helpful in determining a holiday custody arrangement. If you believe mediation could help you and your spouse come to the best arrangement for your children, contact the experienced Chicago mediation lawyers at Nottage and Ward today for a consultation at (312) 332-2915.

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