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Co-parents, it's time to solidify holiday schedules

From ghosts and goblins to turkeys and tinsel; the 2015 holiday season is quickly approaching and, for divorced parents, with it the many challenges that frequently accompany sorting out holiday custody schedules.

Regardless of one's parental status, the holidays can be a hectic and stressful time. Add in the complications associated with divorce, custody agreements and deep-seeded resentments and it can be a recipe for a major argument between co-parents. While it may be difficult to impossible to set aside all hard feelings towards an ex, for the sake of a shared child, divorced parents must do their best to put on a brave face.

Every parent wants their son or daughter to grow up and have happy memories of their childhood. To engender these sentiments, divorced parents should refrain from arguing in front of a child. While this advice applies to all everyday interactions, it's especially important during the holidays as a child is likely to already feel pressured and potentially stressed about leaving and spending time with each parent separately.

To head-off potential fights, co-parents would be wise to ensure that the lines of communication are wide open and that everything that is discussed and agreed upon, with regard to a child's holiday schedule, is outlined in writing. Having an email or other written documentation to reference and go back to helps ensure that both parents are on the same page and can also ease a child's anxiety about where he or she will be on certain dates.

This holiday season, divorced parents are advised to be proactive and take steps to head-off potential arguments about where and with whom a child will spend certain holidays. Parents, who are having an especially difficult time setting aside their differences, are advised to seek the advice and assistance of a therapist and, in some cases, an attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Savvy Holidays Tips for Divorced Parents," Steve Mindel, Oct. 2, 2015

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