Things can get tricky this time of year for divorced dads as we head into the holiday season. It doesn’t have to be a bad experience. In this issue, we’ll share a few tips that will (hopefully) help things go as smoothly as possible.
Divorce Already Has Possible Seasonal Connection
In a recent blog entry, we shared details of new research from the University of Washington that indicated numbers for divorce filings spike in March and August, peak times for what’s considered family vacation and holiday season.
Divorced Dads Often Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
In many cases, divorced dads don’t know which way to turn when the holidays are approaching. While they definitely want to be with their children, they also do not want to make things more difficult for their kids.
Feeling as if they’re being slapped in the face by the incessant talk of family holiday traditions can easily turn a good time into a bad one.
How Divorced Dads Can Make Holidays a Special Time for Children
With a little help from the National Center for Fathering, we share with you a few tips for making the holiday season better for everyone.
- It’s all about the kiddos; let them help decide your holiday plans.
Remember that what you and your ex do now with your children will have a huge impact on them well into their adult years. Because of that, each decision you and your ex make should be about raising happy, emotionally stable and well-adjusted children.
Rather than merely springing the holiday schedule on them, include them in the discussion. If it’s clear that you and your ex will not be able to make things work on the actual special day, plan a separate time when you can celebrate the holidays with your children.
- Go with your children as they shop for their mother or stepparent.
Put any bad thoughts of your ex aside and realize that children want to give gifts to the people involved in their lives. Make it easier on them; remember, they have limited funds and may feel uncomfortable buying gifts for the first holiday after the divorce.
- Go beyond the legal arrangement.
If you and your ex are on good terms, work together about ways to spend time with your children beyond what the standard legal arrangements dictate (you may want to check with your attorney first). A good place to start is going to their house earlier to be with them as they open gifts or to help set out milk and cookies before bedtime.
- Make new traditions.
There’s no getting around the fact that massive change has occurred in your family. This is the perfect time to roll with the punches and establish new traditions with your children.
The Men’s Legal Center: Ensuring That Men’s Interests Are Protected During Divorce
We love children and are firm believers that dads continue to play pivotal roles in the lives of their children even after divorce.
If you’re a man facing divorce, we urge you to get in touch with us here at the Men’s Legal Center. Our sole purpose is to make sure men have the resources and knowledge they need for the best possible outcome in family court.
You can reach us at 619-234-3838 or via email.