Many would agree that the holidays are the time of year with the most traditions. Almost every act during the holidays is based on a tradition. The same decorations are used each year, the same foods are prepared only during the holidays, and the same gatherings are held annually. It provides a feeling of comfort and belonging to practice these traditions with loved ones each year. For separated parents in Connecticut dealing with child custody during the holidays, that comfort and belonging can turn to pain and loneliness if not handled with a lot of careful planning.
If possible, the ideal solution would be for as little change as possible to take place. Some parents, while acknowledging that they cannot continue as a married couple, can still spend time together with their children doing family activities. It is best, if possible, to put differences aside and create a traditional, happy holiday for the children. The children can then continue to experience the traditions they have practiced throughout their lives without having to divide their experiences between two households. Some couples, however, are unable to remain friendly enough to create a happy holiday for their children together, so in this case, it would be best to have separate activities so the children are not subjected to disagreements and bad behavior by their parents during what should be their happiest time of year.
When time has to be divided between households during the holidays, it is best for those details to be determined well in advance. The holiday schedule may be determined by the court or by an agreement made between the parents. The holiday itself may be divided between households, or the parents may alternate years with the children.
Gift-giving is another holiday detail that should be agreed upon by the parents. Some separated couples still buy gifts together, while others keep gifts separate. Gift-giving should never become a competition, and the parents should both be comfortable with the gifts each other gives the children.
The holidays can be especially challenging for separated parents. With cooperation and consideration, parents can ensure that the holidays are joyful for all members of the family. With the help of a knowledgeable Connecticut attorney, the parents can design a child custody plan that maximizes the quality time both parents receive to enjoy all the holidays have to offer.