Christmas Parenting Schedule May Require You to Sacrifice

Christmas Parenting Schedule May Require You to SacrificeThe holidays are supposed to be a happy time for your children, but your divorce has the potential to make it depressing for them instead. When arguing about parenting time on Christmas, it is easy to forget that you should base your decision on what will make your children the happiest, which may be different than what makes you the happiest. You will likely need to make sacrifices and compromises in order to give your children the best holiday experience that you can.

Holiday Schedule

Disputes about holiday parenting time often come down to which parent will have the children on Christmas. You both want to spend at least part of the day with your children, but trying to equally divide your parenting time puts more stress on them. It may be best for your children for one of you to make a bigger sacrifice than the other, such as allowing your co-parent to have the children for the entire day. You should consider:

  • Which home the children are more comfortable in;
  • Which of you is better equipped to create an enjoyable holiday experience;
  • Which other family members will your children be able to see by staying with one of you;
  • How much time your children would spend traveling between homes if you divided the parenting time; and
  • Whether the parental exchange will be too exhausting for your children.

A teenager may be mature enough to help you decide whether to share parenting time on Christmas, but you should make the decision on your own in most cases. Asking a child to decide is putting pressure on him or her to pick a parent.

Alternative Plans

Spending Christmas with your co-parent may be the most convenient arrangement for your children, but they will be sad that they do not get to see you on that day. There are ways to still enjoy Christmas with your children:

  • Your parenting schedule could allow you to have the children on Christmas Eve, during which you can celebrate with them; and
  • You can arrange a phone call or video chat with your children on Christmas so they can at least talk to you.

Giving up your parenting time this Christmas is not a permanent arrangement. Divorced parents can alternate who has the children on Christmas each year.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Continuing to argue about your holiday parenting time will cause you stress and possibly upset your children. A Geneva, Illinois, divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can help you resolve your parenting time dispute. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.


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