As a divorced parent in Texas, you know better than most that divorce and split-parenting is never easy. However, this statement becomes especially true during the holidays. In addition to having to establish a fair holiday schedule, you also need to take into consideration gift purchases, familial obligations, blending traditions and, of course, the location of the festivities. One of the biggest decisions you will have to make, however, is deciding whether you and your former spouse should come together during the holidays and maintain old family traditions or spend the holidays apart and establish new ones.
According to Social Work Today, parents need to put serious thought into their decision to either spend the holidays together or to spend them apart. Though you and your spouse should always put your children’s needs first, one of the first things you should consider is whether you and your spouse can handle an hour or two together without any fighting or tension. If you cannot, coming together for the holidays will only serve to ruin the good cheer for your little ones.
If you and your spouse can maintain a sense of civility for a short period of time, that is great, but it does not necessarily mean you should spend the holidays as one big happy family. Social Work Today warns that your children may perceive your coming together as you and your spouse’s reconciliation. If you do decide to partake in the festivities as a family, have an up-front conversation with your children to ensure that you do not give them a false sense of hope. Also, put a time limit on the visit. An hour or two for breakfast and gift-exchanging does not give the wrong idea, while an all-day affair in which Mom and Dad go to the various family events together does.
Ultimately, the goal is to ensure your children have a happy holiday without giving them a false sense of hope. If you and your spouse feel confident in your abilities to be civil with each one another without coming off as a couple, you may be able to walk the fine line that is spending the holidays together as a split family. If you are not confident in your ability to do either or, it may be time for you to establish new traditions in separate households.
The information in the post is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice.