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How Do You Co-Parent During the Holidays?


Civilly and happily! Remembering your children and their happiness comes FIRST!

As a seasoned, psychologically trained divorce attorney and mediator, I have worked with many parents during and after divorce and I always remind parents that it’s important to remember divorce does not give you license to use your children as a football in your relationship.

Many parents put their children right in the middle of their mess out of anger and pain. My advice? Don’t! Your children don’t deserve to be mistreated because you are in pain.

The holiday season is here and it’s time to think about the children and their needs and some survival techniques.

Here are five tips for surviving the holidays and being the best parents you can be to your children. They deserve it! So do you!


Try to cooperate with each other and do what is needed for both you and your spouse or ex-spouse so that you can both spend happy, quality time with your children. Consider having a civil conversation about what you both have in mind for the holidays and how time with the children can be shared with each of you and extended family members. Start talking now!


Once you have made some decisions, present a united front in telling the children together (if possible) what the plans are going to be. Make them feel that everything is worked out and it’s going to be a good holiday season because mom and dad have figured it out.

This will provide tremendous stability and comfort to your children. It will ease their anxiety and their concerns about mom and dad getting along during the holidays. Children think about holidays and how mom and dad are going to feel if they are alone. Don’t put them in the middle of that mess. Give them peace of mind that everything will be okay even though you are no longer together.


If you don’t have a parenting plan you may want to consider having one. You can develop one informally if you are communicating well or you can have your attorney or mediator help create one. A parenting plan is a blueprint for how you are going to navigate spending time with your children. Parenting agreements can be a simple road map. It can also be a temporary plan just for the holidays. You can always change it later. Once you have it in place and on autopilot, you won’t have to stress over everything. Try one if you don’t already have one. It can make your life a lot easier.


Life goes on after divorce. If you or your ex-spouse are dating, don’t make it an issue. Try to open yourself to accepting that someone new will eventually enter both your lives. During the holidays this can be delicate, but not if you think and plan for it. Try to have an open discussion with each other about the role the new significant other will play in the lives of your children. Introducing a new partner is a big and important decision. Incorporating new partners into the family structure is sensitive, especially during the holidays. I sometimes suggest the aid of a therapist to help in this introduction and transition. If you need help with this, don’t be afraid to ask for it. A professional can make some great suggestions on how to speak with the children so everyone is more comfortable.


I know divorce is painful and draining. I see pain in many of my clients and I always say, “This will pass.” It does, and it will. Be kind to yourself while going through your divorce. It is like grief.

There is happiness on the other side of all the legal and emotional issues. Your children feel pain too! The holidays only make it harder, but in the best interest of the children, try!

If you would like to discuss/create a parenting plan I am happy to help.

Parenting plans, even temporary ones, can really provide stability and sanity. How one is crafted can make all the difference in being able to productively implement one.

Call now to schedule your free consultation.

I will be happy to explain how parenting plans work.

All of our FREE 1 Hour Consultations are still available virtually!

Get ready for holidays now and keep a smile on your children’s faces!

Family Law Attorney Lois Brenner will help you and your family have a better holiday.

Schedule your FREE consultation today!

Call 212.734.1551.