Separation and divorce are difficult regardless of when they are experienced. However, the holiday season can exacerbate these issues. Families spend years forming deep rooted holiday traditions. When children have to adapt to new extended family traditions, the transition can cause anxiety and tension for everyone.
There really is no easy way to navigate this process, and co-parents need to communicate clearly and decrease stress on the children. Mapping out the traditions around the holidays often devolves into discussions that use phrases like “my time” and “your time” when the focus really needs to be on the children. It is THEIR Christmas after all, or their Hanukah, and all they really want to do is enjoy family and have fun. To have a healthy post-separation relationship a great deal of planning and compromise needs to happen. There is simply not enough time to honor all traditions and rotating holidays is a very common answer to that issue.
The process of negotiating a workable solution must start with legal counsel that can assist you in identifying a goal for your family relationships as you move forward through divorce or separation. There are certainly times when a legal situation needs a skilled advocate, but there are many opportunities for reasonable and compassionate compromise as well. Make sure your legal counsel knows the difference between those two.