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Holiday-proof your child custody plan

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2022 | Family Law

If the 2022 holiday season is going to be your first since finalizing your divorce in a South Dakota court, you might be feeling a bit anxious or nervous. For instance, you and your ex might have invited mutual friends to your house for the holidays when you were married. Now, you’re not sure which one of you should invite them this year. Also, you might be concerned about certain child custody issues.  

You hopefully incorporated terms of agreement regarding holidays, birthdays and special events into your child custody order. If you have since realized that you may have a left out a few things, it is a good idea to discuss the issues ahead of time to avoid disputes or disruption to your family festivities.  

Expect the unexpected in your child custody holiday plan 

If you and your ex are both willing to work as a team for the sake of your kids, the upcoming holiday season can be a joyful one for them, in spite of your recent divorce. One of the ways to avoid contention is to accept the fact that unexpected issues may arise, which necessitate a change in your holiday plans.  

For instance, perhaps your ex is supposed to have the kids over Thanksgiving break, but one or more of your children come down with an illness. In such circumstances, it would obviously be best for them to stay home. By discussing such issues ahead of time, you and your co-parent can learn to handle unexpected issues in an amicable fashion.  

Consider your children’s ages before initiating a holiday schedule 

If you are the custodial parent of an infant or toddler, you no doubt understand that it is important to your child’s well-being to avoid long separations from each other. In other words, while a teenager or older elementary age child would be fine staying at your ex’s house for a week, a shorter stay might be best for an infant or toddler.  

Agree to resolve holiday disagreements in a peaceful manner 

The last thing children need during the holidays is to witness a flurry of parental conflict. You might have no control over an issue that sparks disagreement between you and your ex, but you can control your response, as well as the decisions you make regarding how to solve the problem.  

If you are unable to resolve a particular issue on your own, the court is always there to provide support to a concerned parent in need. The court always has children’s best interests in mind when making child custody decisions and can intervene to make decisions on your behalf if you and your ex are unable to achieve a peaceful solution to a custody issue.