The holiday season is stressful under normal circumstances, but during or immediately following the end of a relationship, holidays can become problematic. A former couple with children must find a way to navigate major holidays like Thanksgiving while adhering to their court ordered schedule. Since holiday visitation schedules often alternate, keeping track of which parent is supposed to have the child for each holiday is sometimes complicated. Preparing for Thanksgiving visitations in advance can make each transition smoother allowing everyone to enjoy a less stressful holiday.

Double Check the Agreement

No matter how well you believe you understand your holiday visitation transition schedule it is a good idea to double check your child custody and visitation agreement. In the rush to purchase groceries, plan out-of-town trips, and get ready for guests, a parent can easily forget details included in the agreement. The last thing you want to do is initiate an argument about where your child is supposed to be on Thanksgiving only to later discover you were confused regarding the annual holiday schedule.

Put Plans in Writing

Once you and your former partner have made a plan regarding picking up or dropping off your children or anything else related to their Thanksgiving visit, document the exchange. Sending an email or text message to confirm the plans can help avoid arguments in the future if one party has a different recollection of a conversation. Being able to forward a previously sent email or a screenshot of a text message to your ex can quickly resolve disagreements caused by basic miscommunication.

Remember to Put Your Kids First

Spending time with your family is one of the best parts of a major holiday and after a divorce or breakup, the needs of the children become the primary focus. When you start preparing for your visitation or trip, ask your kids what they want to do or if they are happy with existing plans. No noncustodial parent wants to spend a holiday with a bored, dissatisfied child. Taking their desires into consideration will reduce your chances of having an unhappy Thanksgiving.

Be on Time

If you are someone who habitually runs late do whatever is necessary to make sure that you are on time. Arriving late to your ex’s house to pick up children or drop them off could create multiple problems if they are planning to leave town or are attending a scheduled event. Being on time or early is an easy way to prevent an argument and ensure that your children are able to enjoy holiday trips or visits that they are looking forward to.

Get an Outside Perspective

If you are not happy with your existing visitation schedule or are in need of a child custody and visitation agreement, the attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum can give you the advice you need.  Our team will work with you to protect your legal rights and ensure that an acceptable holiday visitation schedule is included in your child custody agreement. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia locations.