For many kids, December brings visions of Santa Clause and gifts. For parents, however, it’s a lot of shopping, cooking, and decorating. The Holidays also bring arguments over how to divide Parenting Time.
Holiday parenting time is for the kids.
As we go about getting ready for the Holidays, let’s remember that time-sharing this Holiday is for the kids. It is what governs all aspects of our statute.
Take, for example, the first sentences of the statute on parenting time. It says that the best interests of the children will be the primary consideration. Within this are a list of items the Court must focus on, such as how much each parent promotes contact with the other parent, how much each parent honors a parenting plan, and whether each parent is being reasonable when changes are needed. How much a parent acts on the needs of the children first is also paramount.
In short, do what’s best for your kids.
Act on his or her needs. Promote communication with the other parent. Include both parents in making decisions. And for the Holidays, make sure that your son or daughter spends time with both parents. This means promoting time over the Holidays with both parents, and ensuring both parents have a chance to have Santa Clause bring gifts. Winter Holidays are usually two weeks in length. Parents differ on how they want to divide this time. Many split the break in half, but disagree on when to exchange the kids.
Be careful to honor any traditions of the other parent, and ask him or her to do the same. Some families have a big Christmas Eve celebration; others celebrate more on Christmas Day. For kids, it’s best to keep things similar to how he or she celebrated before the divorce or break-up. And be considerate of parents with other religions backgrounds. Their traditions are just as important.
We wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday Season!