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Think about the holiday custody schedule now

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the best time for parents who have a child custody agreement to take the time to review the agreement. You don't need the holidays to come up and you not have a plan for where your child is going to spend specific days. Consider these tips as you try to hash out a holiday schedule.

First, you should make sure that you are doing what is best for your child. It is easy to fall into thinking that your schedule and desires matter. That isn't actually the best thing you can do. Sure, you should be realistic about what you can and can't do for the holiday schedule. This gives you the basis for deciding how much flexibility you have when you are negotiating with your ex.

As you are trying to work on an agreement, make sure that you aren't saying negative things about the situation or your ex. Children take the words of their parents to heart, so speaking ill of your ex or saying things about how difficult things are can make your child feel bad and cause them stress.

As your child spends time with either parent over the holidays, the parent with the child should be willing to let the child communicate with the other parent. Most children want to feel as though both parents are part of the special day. This means that a phone call on Christmas morning to your child's other parent might just be the thing that truly makes your child smile.

Parents are only human, so there might be some aspects of the custody arrangement that you and your ex can't work out. In these cases, you should seek the court's input as early as possible so that your holiday season isn't filled with court dates.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed Oct. 28, 2016

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