If you are the kind of person who is really frustrated that major chain retailers are hauling out Halloween products in August, the idea of thinking about the winter holiday season right now could feel downright maddening. However, if you are a parent of a minor child who shares your child’s holiday times with a co-parent, the time to start planning is now.
By planning well in advance of your child’s winter holidays – which is likely their second-longest holiday period away from school next to summer vacation – you can avoid the kind of tension that tends to be associated with last-minute decision-making. Planning in advance also demonstrates respect for your time, your child’s needs and your co-parent’s situation as well.
Ironing out details
Chances are that your co-parenting relationship is already governed – in no small part – by the terms of a parenting plan. If so, you likely already have a framework in place for handling holiday time. If your child’s best interests and your family’s needs are still accurately reflected by this framework, you’ll simply need to iron out the details of this year’s arrangements with your co-parent so that everyone can plan accordingly.
If, however, your child’s best interests have evolved and/or your family’s circumstances have changed significantly, it may be time to negotiate an adjustment of your parenting plan’s terms with your co-parent. If you can reach a mutually-agreeable solution, you can work with an attorney to formalize it with the court. If you can’t reach a consensus, it may be time to file a formal modification petition.
Regardless of what the ins and outs of your situation may be, because summer is drawing to a close, it’s time to start thinking about the winter holidays.