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Should Co-Parents Spend the Holidays Together?

A person in pajamas and an elf cap sitting next to a Christmas tree crying.

Recently, actor Rachael Leigh Cook revealed that she and her ex-husband Dan Gillies still spend Halloween together with their children as a family. According to Us Weekly, Gillies and Cook, who were married for 15 years before splitting up in 2019, say they have a “happy divorce.”

One reason why their divorce has been happy has been their ability to maintain a strong and positive co-parenting relationship since their marriage ended. Cook and Gillies’s share a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl. Both their kids are right in the heart of their trick-or-treating years. Neither parent wants to miss out on sharing this event with the children, which is why it is so beneficial that they can still share the event as a family.

Tips for Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a tough time for children whose parents are divorced. Fortunately, much of that pain can be avoided if divorced parents are able to put their differences aside and prioritize their children’s happiness and well-being. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but that you should just try to do your best to establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex prior to and during the holidays.

To help you with that, here are a few tips to be the best co-parents you can possibly be during the holiday season:

  • Schedule – Having a set schedule for holidays is a great way for co-parents to avoid problems. In some cases, one parent will have the kids one year and the other parent will have the children the next year. In other instances, one parent will have the kids for part of the holiday and the other parent will have the children for part of the holiday. Either way, the parents and kids know what to expect and can plan accordingly. This helps co-parents from arguing over who gets time with the children during the holidays.
  • Gifts – Co-parents need to discuss this for multiple reasons. First, gifts can be expensive, which is why it is a good idea for parents to share the financial burden. The last thing a parent wants is to have to buy most of the gifts. It is not fair and could lead to resentment and an erosion of the co-parenting relationship. Second, discussing the gifts that you’re going to get for your kids beforehand will help you avoid giving the children the same gifts, which is wasteful and takes away from the joy the gift giver gets from giving their child something they have wanted but didn’t have.
  • Alternate & Combined Celebrations – Depending on the holiday schedule that co-parents come up with, there may be times when one parent or the other will not be able to spend certain days of the holiday season or entire holiday seasons with the kids. In such circumstances, an option that particular parent can pursue is to hold an alternate celebration for the holiday or holidays that will be missed. For instance, if they are missing Thanksgiving with their kids, maybe get your family together for a Thanksgiving celebration prior to or shortly after the actual Thanksgiving Day. Another thing that parents can do to avoid missing holidays with their kids is combine their holiday celebrations. An example of this could be if co-parents celebrate Halloween or Christmas together with their kids as a family. This, of course, isn’t for everyone. However, for co-parents who are able to combine their holiday celebrations, it can be a wonderful option.

Need Help with a Child Custody Agreement or Co-Parenting Plan? Contact Us Today

Rech Law, P.C. has seen how devastating divorce can be for families. That’s why we do whatever we can to do what’s best for children of divorcing couples. In some cases, that means helping our clients negotiate a child custody agreement that works best for their situation. In other instances, it could mean crafting a co-parenting plan that is favorable for all parties involved. It can also mean protecting our clients and their kids from an abusive spouse. Bottom line, our clients and what’s best for them are always our top priorities.

To learn more about Rech Law, P.C., check out our clients’ testimonials.

Give us a call at (704) 659-0007 or get in touch with us online today to set up a confidential consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys in Charlotte.

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