Planning for the holidays when you are co-parenting children in Illinois involves more than simply sharing your holiday plans. For many co-parents, their parenting plans establish how holidays will be divided and how any changes will be documented. Others might not have such clear rules written into their parenting plans and will need to negotiate how holidays are spent and write those agreements down. In all cases, parents should begin to plan for the holidays early to avoid last-minute conflicts and surprises.
Parenting plans can help with planning holidays
For many co-parents, the parenting plans will outline many of the details related to holidays. Some of these details include:
- The division of the holidays, whether splitting time or alternating holidays
- How travel arrangements will be made
- How changes to the agreement are documented
- The tools used to communicate such as family apps and shared calendars
Flexibility is important
While parenting plans might include many details related to the way co-parents will handle holidays, both parents need to be flexible when it comes to holiday plans. Therefore, it is important to address the holidays early, to give each parent enough time to process the other parent’s requests and ideas, how these will affect the children and how they will affect their own plans. Negotiating early, and documenting any changes clearly, particularly following any documentation required in the parenting agreement, will prevent conflicts from developing last minute and possibly negatively impacting the children’s holidays.
Holidays are very important to all members of the family. Realizing that you will have to negotiate which special days your children spend with you might be difficult to process. However, it is in your child’s best interest to keep things amicable with their other parent, as the children can experience stress and anxiety when their parents are not getting along.