It seems that this time of year always brings some joy coupled with ample amounts of stress. The Holidays are a stressful time and we all know why; however, the degree of stress that we display has an even greater impact when that stress is caused by time-sharing arrangements, or the lack thereof, during the Holidays.
The Holidays can be one of the happiest times of the year for children. Being off from school, traveling and of course, receiving gifts are all facets of the Holidays children enjoy. What they do not enjoy is dealing with the stress of where they are going from one year to the next, or dealing with their parents fighting during what is supposed to be a joyful time of year. As parents, it is hard to truly appreciate how much even the most guarded and subtle displays of stress impact our children. The truth is that our children are incredibly receptive and pick up on all of the emotions that we exhibit regardless of how inconspicuous.
The first step in stress management is simple; eliminate the stress. Easier said than done, right? Well, actually it is not that difficult but it just takes time, appropriate planning and patience. Timing is everything and being proactive is always preferred. Most of us do not make spontaneous decisions when making Holiday plans. For the most part, these plans are based on tradition and we know where we spend the Holidays every year. When parties separate, the ease of these decisions changes significantly; however, if parties plan accordingly and remain cooperative and patient then a solid degree of normalcy can still exist. What this often means is that both parents have to give a little to accommodate the other’s plans. This is very difficult during a divorce because emotions are extremely charged. Remember that the goal is to keep your children as sheltered and insulated as possible during the divorce process. Do not view the allocation of time-sharing during the Holidays with your spouse as a competition. Remember, you want to provide peace for your children, and to make this work you and your spouse must be a united front. It may mean that you get one holiday with your children this year and your spouse gets next year, but if planned properly both parents will get equal time and the children will benefit from seeing their parents resolving conflicts as a team. Such cooperation will substantially limit the stress this process can cause or in some cases eliminate the stress in its entirety. If you would like guidance in scheduling and managing time-sharing during the Holidays contact us and let us begin working to help you today. For more information on time-sharing issues please contact the law firm of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.