The holidays can be a magical time for children, full of excitement and wonder. Parents in Pennsylvania generally want to make sure their child has a happy holiday. However, when parents are divorced they may need to take some extra measures to ensure that their child's needs are met during this time of the year.
First, usually a holiday child custody and visitation schedule will be included in the parents' parenting agreement. Parents should review this schedule before making holiday plans, so they can ensure there are no conflicts. If for some reason the existing holiday schedule is not feasible, parents may seek to have it modified in court. It is important for parents to be flexible in this manner and make the child's best interests their top priority despite any animosity they may have towards one another.
In addition, parents should make sure the child understands where they will be during the holidays. For example, a child might be with one parent Christmas morning and the other parent Christmas afternoon. Coordinating custody exchanges and following through on them is critical to ensuring that the process runs smoothly. Parents should support their child's relationship with the other parent, and not place their child in a situation where the child feels he or she must choose sides.
This time of year should be one of peace and joy for parents and children alike. While divorce can make things more complicated, it is still possible for parents to make sure this time of year is a happy one for their child. Cooperation, advanced planning and respect can go a long way in ensuring the child's best interests are honored.