For many divorced California parents, the holiday season can be difficult and stressful, especially if both parents want to spend quality time with the children. Sitting down and dividing up the time can lead to even more stress, particularly if both parents want the kids on certain days. To prevent future problems which can affect the children, there are some ways that parents can make their shared parenting time go as smooth as possible.
First, all decisions should be based around what is best for the children. This means planning the schedule in advance so that there is plenty of time to resolve any issues that may come up. When creating a holiday parenting plan, both parents should agree to a specific time and date to avoid any confusion. Not only does this set the expectations both parents have, but it also allows the kids to anticipate seeing their other parent.
If there is still conflict between parents, putting the agreement into writing and having it signed by the court can prevent confusion. If parents cannot have a calm conversation without erupting, there are court-monitored tools that can be used to help facilitate communication. They allow parents to plan out the child's schedule while requiring the other parent to respond.
When parents decide to get a divorce, their children will often split their time between the two households. Because it is likely that both parents will want to share the holidays with their children, coming to an agreement over who gets the children when can lead to stress and conflict for all. Mediation could be a way to arrive at a solution that allows the parties to have quality time with the children on different holidays.