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Naperville IL divorce attorneyIf you have recently ended your marriage, or if you are currently going through a divorce, you may be dreading the holiday season. As a newly single parent, you may still be adjusting to spending less time with your kids, and the prospect of being alone during a time that had previously been focused on family may have you stressed out. When adding these concerns to the ongoing risks that everyone is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how you will get through the coming weeks. However, by making the right preparations, you can not only survive the holidays, but you can begin the next year on the right foot.

Suggestions for the Holidays After Your Divorce

Here are some tips you can follow during this time:

  1. Plan parenting schedules in advance - You and your former spouse may have already reached an agreement on how your children will divide their time between the two of you, or you may still be hammering out the details of your parenting plan. You will want to be sure to understand which days your children will spend with each of you during the holidays, how children will be transported between your homes, and any other details, allowing you to avoid conflict with your ex. You should also share this schedule with your children so they know what to expect.

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Creating a Parenting Schedule for the HolidaysYour first holiday season after your divorce can be stressful for you and your children because it is the first time you are not celebrating the holidays together as a family. Your parenting schedule should not add more stress to the season. Divorced parents often have unique schedules for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. You may have already included one in your divorce parenting agreement. However, you will not know how well the schedule works until you put it into action. You may need to adjust your holiday parenting schedule to something that works better for your children.

Qualities of a Good Schedule

You should build your holiday parenting schedule around what will create the most enjoyable experience for your children. This requires sacrificing some of your own time with the children so that both you and your co-parent can celebrate with them. How you divide your time depends on your individual circumstances. You should ask yourselves:

  • Which home will the children be most comfortable spending a holiday at?;
  • Which parent is most capable of hosting a holiday celebration such as a dinner?;
  • What other family members will the children be able to see when staying with each parent?;
  • Are the children old enough to handle traveling between parents on the holiday?; and
  • Is one parent more closely associated with certain holiday traditions than the other?

Types of Schedules

There are four ways that you can structure your holiday parenting schedule:

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