According to survey data collected by the American Psychological Association, more than 70 percent of American parents report the holiday season makes them feel “stressed” or “fatigued.” For divorced and separated parents, navigating the holidays can be especially challenging. A comprehensive, carefully planned holiday parenting time schedule can make all the difference. Here, our Naperville, IL family law attorneys offer five useful tips parents can use to help create an effective holiday time-sharing schedule.
1. Start the Planning Process Early
The sooner you begin the planning process for the holidays, the easier it will be to make a schedule that works for you and your family. With the holidays, you do not want to wait until the last minute to start planning—this time of the year is already busy enough. By creating a parenting time schedule in advance, you will have less to worry about later.
2. Create a Detailed, Specific Schedule
Holiday parenting time schedules should be detailed. Many parents find it is a mistake to rely on a general or loosely planned time-sharing schedule during the holiday season. Ambiguity often creates problems. Take time to write down all important events and make sure logistics are considered and addressed. The more detailed the schedule, the less likely it is you will run into confusion or conflict.
3. Be Willing to Compromise
In creating a holiday time-sharing schedule, parents should try to be fair. Time is limited so both parties may need to compromise on certain issues. When parents are willing to be flexible and work collaboratively with each other to find solutions, they are usually able to achieve better results.
4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
The holidays can be unpredictable. While detailed planning is important, there is always the possibility things could change. Parents must be able to communicate changes with one another. When communication starts to break down, real problems begin to emerge.
5. You May Want Professional Support
Finally, it is never a bad idea to seek professional help in crafting a holiday parenting schedule. In some cases, seemingly intractable conflicts can arise. While divorced parents can sometimes work out these issues on their own, that is not always the best path forward. There are other options available. A family law mediation attorney may offer a cost-effective solution to help you and your former partner create a holiday time-sharing agreement that works well for your family.
Discuss Your Case with Our Illinois Family Law Attorneys Today
At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois child custody lawyers are compassionate and skilled advocates for parents and families. If you need assistance creating a shared parenting schedule, we are here to help. To arrange a free, fully private family law consultation, please contact our law firm today. With law offices in Naperville, Aurora, and Bolingbrook, we represent parents throughout Northern Illinois.