Divorced Parents Navigating the Holidays During COVID-19

Celebrating the holiday season as divorced parents can be difficult. In a year with concerns around COVID-19 and travel restrictions, however, some holiday traditions may be impossible.

For this reason, parents with custody agreements may need to find new creative ways to share the holiday cheer while navigating COVID-19 and an existing court order. To give your kids some fun in a chaotic year, here are some tips to help you and your family make the most of this holiday season.

Review Your Custody Agreement

A family’s custody agreement is meant to guide future action concerning parenting time and visitation schedules. Figure out what your arrangement looks like for the holiday season and whether or not any clauses have been added to cover COVID-19 or emergency situations.

As always, it is important to follow the court order until changes are agreed upon and formally made in writing. If you are ever confused by your court order, be sure to discuss it with your family law attorney.

Validate and Value Your Child’s Feelings

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, including children. For them, COVID-19 has meant time away from friends, cancelled after-school activities, at-home learning, and a scary life disruption. Getting through this holiday season may be harder than in past years. As always, take the time to validate and consider your child’s fears and feelings, and take their wishes into account when deciding your holiday plans.

Communicate with your Co-parent

Like any holiday schedule adjustment, discuss what each parent wants in terms of visiting time. Figure out what logistics are possible and to what extent holiday traditions can be split among parents.

It may also be beneficial to discuss the concerns surrounding COVID-19. One parent may have certain health problems that would put them in added danger. Each parent’s situation will be different and that needs to be a primary consideration when crafting new plans.

Talk with an Attorney to Discuss Alternatives

When there is disagreement over what is best for the child in a potential holiday plan, consider speaking with your child custody attorney. As always, it is important not to violate the existing custody agreement and consult legal counsel to avoid trouble with the court.

A compassionate and knowledgeable attorney can assist you in brainstorming possible holiday custody solutions and suggesting next steps. Since the 2020 holiday season will be quite different, it is important to think about your children and what is best for them. Discussing these concerns with a dedicated attorney can help you decide on the best holiday custody options to make this year’s celebrations special.

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