Holidays can be difficult for North Carolina parents who are separated or newly divorced. If there are no provisions about holiday time in the parenting plan, divorced parents may spend too much time arguing over who gets to spend time with the children. To avoid these kinds of arguments, separated or divorced parents should try to create a detailed parenting plan that addresses birthdays, vacations and holidays.
Some divorced parents deal with holiday parenting time by alternating years. This arrangement works well for parents who live far away from each other and have trouble coordinating plans. Divorced parents that live close to each other and are able to communicate well may decide to split parenting time on holidays rather than alternating years. Splitting time may be more complicated to work out, but it allows children to spend time with both of their parents on special holidays.
It’s easy for divorced parents to get stressed and argumentative during the holidays if they don’t see eye to eye. However, divorced parents should remember that they can create memorable days for their children no matter what the calendar says.
A formal parenting plan is often necessary before divorce papers are filed. A parent who is in the process of separating may want to work with an attorney to ensure that there is at least an interim custody arrangement in place. An attorney may be able to help a parent to negotiate for a parenting plan that includes detailed provisions about holidays and birthdays as well as family vacations.