034 - Getting Through Divorce During The Holidays.
As the holidays approach, it's important to understand that emotions and practically everything else gets amplified during the holiday season. Divorce is hard. The holiday season can be stressful, even when you're not getting divorced. All the shopping, family events, hosting dinners, etc. Put them together and it can be a volatile couple of months!
That's why I'm doing this episode...to give you some tips to get you through the holiday season in one piece.
The best piece of advice I can give you about divorce and the holidays is to prepare...well in advance. When I say in advance, I mean the summer isn't too early. Seriously.
First, if you can communicate with your spouse without getting into an argument all the time, try to agree on a parenting time schedule for the holiday season. Tip - be flexible. Remember, it goes both ways. If you want a certain holiday now...be flexible when he/she wants some extra time during another holiday.
Try to avoid the courts if you can. More importantly, try to avoid filing an emergent application about parenting time with the court the day before the holiday. Attorneys hate them and the courts hate them. They're not good for anyone. If you have to file a motion for relief from the court, do it as far in advance of the holiday as possible.
If you can go to mediation to resolve the dispute, try that. But, that will only work if both parties are attempting to resolve the dispute in good faith. Otherwise, it will be a waste of time and money for everyone. However, mediation is often quicker and cheaper than the court. However the odds of scheduling a mediation the day before a holiday, without prior notice, is slim to none, so don't count on that.
What's the moral of this episode? Prepare for the holidays! You can't be too early. The last thing you want is to have to worry about who is going to have the children when on the eve of Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Like I said at the beginning, aren't the holidays stressful enough without dealing with divorce!?
Whatever you do, always act in the best interest of the children. That may conflict with what you "want." Try to look at the big picture. Just because you're going through a bad divorce doesn't mean your children have to also.
Here's hoping your holiday season will be filled with joy and peace.