Sharing custody of your children will mean compromising with your co-parent about many things. You don’t get to see your children as often, and you don’t have complete control over what they do or where they go because your ex decides what happens during their parenting time.
One of the most difficult compromises for many parents to adjust to after divorce is not being present on all of the special occasions for their children, like birthdays and holidays. Addressing holidays and other special events in your custody plan will require some careful consideration. Many couples find that one of the three solutions below will work for them.
Keep the big days family-oriented
Parents who can still be friendly toward one another or who can put aside their own feelings for their children may recognize that splitting the family up on special occasions is not fun for the children. If everyone can be cooperative and pleasant toward one another, you may be able to continue getting the entire family together for every birthday, holiday and middle school basketball game.
Create an alternating schedule
Many parents find that the easiest way to divide special events is to alternate who is present. One parent sees the children on Thanksgiving, and the other has them for Christmas. You can apply this same system to birthdays and extracurricular activities as well so that the children feel supported by both parents.
Actually split holidays and birthdays
If the idea of not seeing your children on Christmas or their birthday really upsets you or them, then splitting the day with a custody exchange in the middle might be the better approach.
One parent can have the children for the morning, the other can take the mid-afternoon and evening. The system generally works better for special days rather than school events, although parents could agree to be present for half of a basketball game.
Thinking about your family’s needs and help you arrange for shared custody in a way that supports everyone’s needs.