Top Five Tips: Navigating Holidays During a Divorce

Christmas and Child Custody

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    The holiday season is stressful. Especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding a recent or pending divorce during the holidays to the mountain of stress may seem like an insurmountable task. By following these easy tips, you’ll be able to successfully navigate the holiday season, ensuring that you and your children have a fantastic time.

    1. Make Your Plans Now

    Advanced planning is key. You should start planning your holiday celebrations now. Do not wait until the last minute. When you’re planning the celebrations, you should be realistic. Can you and your co-parent be in the same room? How contentious has your divorce been? Is child custody an issue?

    The more contentious and stressful things are between you and your co-parent, the less likely you’ll have a successful holiday season if you try to force a joint celebration. If this is the case, you should strongly consider having separate celebrations. Remember that your kids are the focus of the holidays. Don’t put your kids in a position where you and your spouse are fighting in front of them. It will ruin your kids’ holidays and will add even more stress to your divorce.

    2. Remember that You Both Deserve Time with Your Kids

    Don’t try to dominate the holidays. Kids deserve time with both parents during the holidays. Whether this is with joint or separate celebrations, being reasonable during the holiday season can go a long way in resolving your divorce.

    3. Don’t Make the Holidays a Competition

    The holidays are about your kids, not about who can “win” the holiday season. You may be tempted to buy your kids a ton of gifts so they have a better time with you than with your spouse. Do not fall into this trap. The Court, a mediator, or an expert may see this as an attempt to turn your kids against your spouse, which will cause much more harm than good. Try to communicate with your spouse so that the kids are getting roughly equal gifts from each of you during the holidays.

    4. Create New Traditions

    If you and your spouse are going to have separate celebrations, this creates new opportunities to have fun with your kids. If you’ve decided that one parent should have Christmas and the other should have Christmas Eve, you can create a new tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve. Your kids will enjoy having two Christmases, and it will take some pressure off of you if you’re the parent who doesn’t have Christmas Day this year.

    5. Take a Break and Recharge

    As stressful as the holidays can be, take some time to reflect on what you appreciate. Don’t think about your divorce. Don’t stress about your separation agreement. Focus on having fun with your family. Watch a holiday movie you enjoy. Go play in the snow with your kids. Use this time to recharge — you absolutely need and deserve a break.

    Find Out More

    To read more about navigating holiday parenting time during a divorce, click here. To make sure you get to spend quality time with your children, especially during the holiday season contact one of our 5 divorce lawyers at Kalamaya | Goscha. We are a Colorado law firm founded by Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha. Our team specializes in divorce, child custody, and family law. Kalamaya | Goscha has law offices in Edwards, Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Denver & Boulder. To speak to an attorney call (970) 315-2365.