All on its own, the season brings on its share of tension and pressure. Once upon a time, stress revolved around finding the perfect gifts. Now, those concerns pale in comparison to what you now face. No doubt it’s something you’ve already considered. You don’t want to let your divorce ruin your holidays.
In many families, tradition reigns in as the master of most celebrations. And, most admit that children are the focus of the magic. On the one hand, it means waiting for the chubby guy in red. Additionally, it becomes a matter of religious rituals. Who will light the nightly candles? What about late night or early morning services?
One thing is certain. Only a select few couples spend time together as one unit with their offspring during the holidays. If the concept sounds foreign to you, you’re not alone. For some, just making it past that first year of separation seems difficult. Truth be told, some bitter divorces find families still struggling decades later.
As a parent, it really shouldn’t be all about you. However, that’s often easier said than done. Meanwhile, the court makes judgments based on your children’s best interests. It’s something you need to think about when you plan for the holidays.
Divorce and the Holidays
Are you newly separated? If you’re holding off on meeting with a divorce lawyer, you’ll want to negotiate a holiday plan with your spouse. Will you divide up Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Or, take turns as far as lighting the Menorah?
Compromise represents a critical component in every phase of the divorce. You may think there’s no fair way of dealing with your husband or wife. And, you may be right. However, unless you have concerns about your child’s safety, you should come up with an equitable means of sharing the holidays.
When it comes to the divorce itself, you’ll be pushed to get the whole issue under control. In New Jersey, the courts require mothers and fathers to go through custody and parenting time mediation. This gives you the time to work out the kinks and find the most equitable solution that works in your children’s best interests.
The spirit of whatever holiday you celebrate revolves around a common theme. This year, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all fall within the same week. Their basic messages stress family, love, and community. You want to ensure your children see you in the proper light.
You can’t control what your former spouse does or even says about you. The holidays can’t fix what was broken and the reason for your divorce. However, you can give your children the message of love and do so with dignity.
This may mean swallowing your pride a bit and counting to ten. No doubt it hurts if your children are in new blended families and you seem like the odd man out.
Even if you are capable of providing more lavish gifts, you don’t want to be known for materialism. The holidays are the one time of year to show your children what it is to give – of yourself.
Going to Court Over the Holidays
Sadly, you may find yourself in court over the holidays. You should make sure you secure representation from an experienced family law attorney. Without question, you have every right to be upset if a court order is in place and your child’s other parent refuses to abide by it.
In some cases, the police may become involved in your dispute. It may not be as simple as failing to turn over the children for their scheduled time. Unfortunately, a great number of domestic violence issues arise during the holidays.
All the while, you’re likely thinking that you don’t want to let your divorce ruin your holidays. The worst of it all is the long term affects it has on the little people you likely love most.