If you are in the middle of divorce proceedings or have recently divorced your spouse, you may be dreading the winter holidays. After all, it is the time of the year you spend with close friends and family, some of whom you met through your spouse. What might make it even harder is that you share custody of your children.
Legal custody is the right of a parent to decide for their child, while physical custody is the right to have their child stay with them. If the court awarded you and your spouse joint custody in Mississippi, it usually includes “equally shared parenting time.”
Tips on sharing parenting time during the holidays
On paper, joint custody looks like the best option for everyone, especially the children. It allows them to continue to build a relationship with both parents. However, the contract will not explain how difficult it will be for the parents. You may have to split the holidays with your spouse, which might result in custody disputes due to residual negative emotions from the divorce. But before you pick a fight with your ex and demand to see your kids, here are important tips you may want to consider:
- Review your custody order
- Communicate with your former spouse
- Learn to be flexible without allowing your spouse to overstep
- Do not argue with your ex-spouse in front of your children
- Do not use your children to get information about your ex-spouse
- Do not badmouth your former spouse to your children
- Discuss the holiday schedule with your children
Even though you may not have the kids on a specific date, you can create new holiday traditions with them. The holidays should be about making good memories for you children, not fighting over custody.