Ask Jennifer: Keeping the Holidays Bright


Dear Jennifer,

I’m considering a divorce but want to wait until after the holidays for my kid’s sake. Is there anything you can suggest I do to impact them less on future holidays and how do I make sure I get the days that are most important to me to begin with? 

Notta Grinch

Dear Notta,

I see so many parents who forget what an impact divorce has on the children. It is admirable that you are trying to think in advance as to the best things to do to safeguard them as much as possible.  Here are three suggestions to assist you in this goal:

1.  Compromise: Start by making a list of what holidays are most important to you and why they are important to you. Is it simply because you are together with your kids? Most of the time you will find that the reason these holidays mean something to you is not because of the day it falls on, but because you and your kids are together. If this is the case, try offering to move your celebration to another day. This sort of compromise is needed as typically both parents want to celebrate the same holiday with their kids. By deciding up front which holidays you could celebrate on a different day, it gives you a bargaining chip to use towards negotiating for other holidays that are more important to you or for more time in general with your kids, which is what your kids and you really want to begin with.

2. Co-parent: Someone can be a terrible spouse, but a good parent. What that means is, unless your spouse is an actual danger in some way to your children, you don’t want to cut them off from your children completely. Trying to alienate your ex-spouse only hurts the kids involved.  Typically, this sort of move will only serve to make the children involved angry at the parent doing the alienation.  The best route is to keep in mind that the more stability that you can give to your kids during this time, and for the rest of their childhood, the better. Keeping both parents in an active role preserves that stability for your children. Additionally, how you handle parenting post-divorce makes a very big impact on your child, even into adulthood.

3. Get Techy: Don’t be afraid to turn to tech to help you communicate and maintain stability for your kids, post-divorce. Some apps, such as 2 houses and Our Family Wizard, are designed with multi home families and divorced parents in mind. These apps allow you do things such as have access to a shared visitation calendar, recommend time swaps, and share information about things going on with your children through diary entries. They make co-parenting much easier, and additionally, help to shelter your kids from awkward situations where they have to serve as messenger or overhear these conversations, thus allowing your kids to just be kids.

I hope that this advice has helped guide you as to your next steps. If you have any other questions or need more advice, feel free to call my office. These are the types of cases we handle every single day, and we would be honored to help you as well.   

God Bless,

Jennifer

Attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist, Jennifer Rose, answers readers’ questions about family and matrimonial law.

Jennifer G. Rose is the founder and lead attorney at The Rose Law Firm LLC. One of only a handful of certified family law specialists in the state, Jennifer and her firm have won dozens of awards for their work in the field. Those wishing to reach her may call 205-323-1124, 24 hours a day or visit rosefamilylaw.com. Her firm gives complimentary initial consultations in person.

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