The holiday season is not always a happy time of year for families, especially when it is their first holiday season after a divorce. When you are trying to manage this time of year with a parenting plan and a newly limited budget, it can be hard to also address your own emotional well-being. When you are faced with contentious custody issues or disputes on how to handle the holidays, know that an Oklahoma City custody attorney can help you mediate these problems.

Even when you do not have significant disputes, the holidays can still be tense or lonely. Although there is no perfect answer to managing the holidays, there are some things you can do to make it a little easier.

  • Create a Plan

    As the holidays begin, have a plan for how you’ll handle them. Often, parents have a parenting plan that specifically addresses what will happen on holidays. Some parents alternate each year, alternate holidays, or spend different parts of the day with their kids. If you and your co-parent don’t have a plan to follow, make one. If you do have a plan, make sure that the fine details are clear, including traveling between homes, gift-giving, and how to manage changes to the plan.

    Working together to avoid surprises can help make the holidays go more smoothly and ensure that you know what to expect. This can help lower feelings of resentment and avoid potential disputes.

  • Be Communicative and Flexible

    Talk with your kids about the holidays, and let them know what may be different this year. This can help them feel less stressed about it, and you can also learn if they have any wishes for how to celebrate. It’s important to also be aware that things may not go as planned. Both you and your co-parent want to spend time with your kids, and some changes may have to happen so that you both get quality time with them.

  • Put Your Kids First

    Children go through a difficult time after a divorce, and facing the holidays with so many changes in their lives can be hard. The holidays are meant to be enjoyable and special for kids, so try to make it a happy occasion for them, even if it isn’t the holiday season that they’re used to. Avoid letting kids get caught in any disagreements that you have with your co-parent. Try to plan fun activities and create new traditions they can enjoy.

  • Get Help From Loved Ones

    There is a lot to manage in the holiday season when you are a newly single parent. Remember that you have support in your life from your family and friends. Reach out for help when you need it. Loved ones can help you deal with cooking, shopping, decorating, and even taking time to relax. The holiday season is about spending time with your loved ones and getting help from the people who support you can make your holidays a bit easier.

  • Be Kind to Yourself

    While it’s important to be there for your kids, you also need to take care of yourself. During the holidays, you might not be feeling the holiday cheer, and that’s okay. Do things that make you happy, but acknowledge the negative feelings and grief that you have. Get the support and care you need to manage the holidays.


Q: How Do I Get Through the Holidays After a Divorce?

A: The holidays can be difficult after a divorce, and it’s important to plan effectively while giving yourself time to grieve. It’s not easy to go through this time when your life has changed, and trying to ignore that won’t help. If you don’t have children or they are with your ex-spouse for the holidays, try to spend time with loved ones when you can and do things you love. Take care of your own needs and start new traditions with your friends and family.

When you are with your kids for the holidays, stick with the parenting plan you created and try to give them a good holiday season, even if it’s different.

Q: How Long Does It Take for a Divorce to Be Final in Oklahoma?

A: If one or both spouses meet the residency requirements to file for divorce, then the waiting period for an uncontested divorce is ten days. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties can reach an accord on the major aspects of a separation agreement, including property division and spousal support. Often, creating and negotiating a separation agreement takes longer than the 10-day waiting period, but ten days is the minimum. If spouses have children, the waiting period is 90 days.

If any aspect of the divorce is contested, the divorce will likely take much longer, between months to a year or more.

Q: Should Divorced Parents Spend Holidays Together?

A: While there may be a point where occasions like the holidays can be spent together, many agree that the first few years after a divorce should be separate. It may be difficult for kids to properly acknowledge and accept the changes in the family if the holidays follow a familiar routine. It’s important for parents to work together to determine what will happen during the holidays. This may even be a part of their parenting plan, where holidays are split or alternated between parents.

Q: Should Kids Choose Which Parent to Spend the Holidays With?

A: Each family’s situation is different, and how you handle holidays while co-parenting will differ. Consider your child or children, their age and maturity, and whether you think it would help them to choose where to spend the holidays.

For some kids, it’s beneficial for parents to make that decision and not ask their child to make that choice. For other kids, the option is nice to have at a time when their lives are changing significantly. Try to keep open communication between you, your children, and your co-parent while planning for the holiday season.

Contact Stange Law Firm

During the holidays, try to talk with your loved ones and limit the stress of the season. If you are in need of legal support and mediation services for disputes that you and your co-parent can’t work out this holiday season, contact Stange Law Firm.