How Should Divorced Parents in Illinois Prepare for the Holidays?

Arlington Heights divorce attorneyThe holiday season can be one of the hardest times for divorced parents and their children, especially if this will be the first year that you are not celebrating all together as a family. It is only natural that you would experience some sadness and longing for the way things were in years past, but if you work to prepare yourself, both mentally and logistically, you can make things easier and find a way to make the most of your quality time with your children and extended family.

Mentally Preparing for the Holidays

Making sure you are mentally ready can make the holidays more enjoyable for both you and your children. Some suggestions to consider include:

  • Continue some traditions, and make new ones. A divorce does not have to mean the end of all of your holiday traditions. Making an effort to continue traditions can provide you and your children with stability, and you might even think of some new traditions that can help you look forward to this new chapter of your lives.

  • Find comfort in your support system. The holidays are often a time when close friends and family members come together. This can be overwhelming after a divorce, and you may find that you need to step back at times, but it can also provide you with the strong support system that you need to work through the changes that this year has brought on.

  • Talk to a mental health professional. Unfortunately, the holidays and winter months can also be a time when depression and other mental health challenges come to the forefront. If you find yourself struggling, reach out to a mental health professional who can help you cope through therapy and other treatment.

Addressing Holidays in Your Parenting Plan

In addition to your mental preparation, you should be sure that your parenting plan clearly addresses how you and your ex will share parenting time on holidays. A couple of options that may work include:

  • Alternating holidays: You may find that the best arrangement is for you and your ex to trade off the holidays that your children spend with you. For example, you may arrange to have the kids on Thanksgiving this year while your ex has Christmas, and then flip the arrangement the following year.

  • Dividing time on each holiday: If it is important to both you and your ex to see your children on all holidays, you may be able to reach an agreement in which they spend part of the day with each of you, or schedule a different day for one of you to celebrate.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

At the Cosley Law Office, we want to do everything we can to help you enjoy the holidays after your divorce. We will advise and represent you as you work to establish a holiday parenting plan that meets the needs of you and your children so that you can focus on your own mental preparation. Contact a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer today at 847-253-3100 to request a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K602.7

https://www.custodyxchange.com/examples/holidays/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/contemplating-divorce/201811/is-your-first-holiday-season-after-divorce

 

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