The lights are going up, the smell of ginger and pine are wafting in, and many divorcees in New Jersey are getting ready for another holiday season of navigating joint custody. If you adhere to three simple tips, things may go smoother than you’re anticipating.
You probably have a parental rights agreement, and it may outline a holiday schedule. Yet if your goal is to keep things cheerful during the season, consider being flexible. Don’t be a roadblock if the kids want to spend a few more hours or even days at the other parent’s house because of social activities. If your former spouse asks to switch days around and you can easily accommodate the change, just do it. In other words, inject a little accommodating cheer into your custody arrangement.
Get a mental health tune-up
The holidays are a joyous time, but they can be equally challenging, especially for recently divorced people who are still adjusting to their new reality. Consider making a few appointments with a therapist, coach, counselor, or trainer, whichever works best for you. The better prepared you are to face the hectic season, the easier it will be for you and the kids.
Communicate about gifts
Gift-giving is a big part of the season. To avoid duplicates and disappointments, put aside any lingering animosity and civilly communicate with your ex about presents for the kids. The first order of business is making sure you don’t get the same thing. Secondly, be thoughtful about the living situation and avoid getting a spectacular gift that can only be at one home. Thirdly, be mindful of everyone’s budget. Many families are fond of price caps to eliminate gross inequities between the parents’ presents.
Just because your family situation is different than in previous years doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holidays. With a touch of flexibility, a mental tune-up, and friendly communication, navigating joint custody during the holiday season can go more smoothly.