Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

Divorce can make your holidays in Virginia a bit stressful

When you filed a divorce petition in a Virginia court, you no doubt wanted to focus on your children's best interests. Leaving the past behind from a marriage and moving on in life in a productive, healthy way is a lot easier said than done in many cases, especially when you have kids. With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away and the 2019 holiday season about to unfold, you'll want to make sure that you and your children are able to enjoy it without legal problems.

Especially if you and your ex are not really on good terms, which is common in divorce, you'll want to make sure you have a solid, thorough co-parenting plan in place. It's a good idea to incorporate details about holidays into your agreement because it helps avoid confusion and lessens the chance that a dispute might arise.

You are free to customize your plan

In Virginia and elsewhere, parents are usually free to write the terms of their own co-parenting plans. If you and your ex are willing to cooperate and compromise, you can discuss ahead of time how, where, when and with whom your children will spend their holidays. Perhaps, you'll create a plan similar to many other parents, including alternating holidays per year.

Then again, you might want to try to spend some holidays together, as children typically enjoy having both parents under the same roof for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or other special occasions. Try to leave no stone unturned when writing the terms of your co-parenting agreement. You are free to customize your plan to fit your needs and goals. The court is likely to approve any plan that keeps children's best interests in mind.

Flexibility is a key to avoiding holiday stress

Divorce need not ruin your children's holidays, but it definitely prompts changes in their lives. Life has a way of changing unexpectedly. If this happens during the holidays, you and your ex may have to put your communication and cooperation skills to the test. If someone gets sick or something happens that causes a snag in an agreed-upon plan, it's best to try to compromise and remain flexible in your schedule.

If unforeseen circumstances spark an argument between you and your co-parent, your holiday season may quickly unravel because such incidents tend to build momentum and escalate before they are resolved. That is why it's always a good idea to build strong support network from the start so that you can reach out for advice, guidance, encouragement or legal support as needed.

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Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

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