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Divorced Dad’s 2020 Holiday Survival Guide

Boyd Family Law Dec. 28, 2021

Whether you are still in the process of divorce or your divorce has been finalized, the holidays can be extremely difficult for divorced dads. Emotions can run high, from anger to loneliness and everything in between. If you are a divorced (or divorcing) dad, Fort Worth father’s rights attorney Jon Boyd offers a divorced dad’s holiday survival guide.

  • Put the kids first. The holidays are always supposed to be a time when we put the kids first; however, that basic concept applies even more for 2020. This has been a tough year for everyone – especially children. Children are worried because their parents are worried. They have had to adapt to different ways of getting an education and many have been isolated from friends and family for weeks, even months, at a time. This year, more than any other, it is critical that you remember to put the children first during the holidays.

  • Stick to the parenting time schedule (if one has been ordered). If your divorce has already been finalized, you need to stick to the possession and access schedule included in the parenting plan. Now is not the time to initiate disagreements, much less litigation, if it can be avoided. Moreover, the parenting plan is part of the final decree of divorce, meaning the schedule included therein is part of a court order. Violating the parenting plan can result in serious consequences. If your divorce has yet to be finalized, possession and access can be trickier unless there is a temporary order in place. If you have an attorney, talk to him/her about how to schedule parenting time during the holidays. You can also use the Texas standard possession and access schedule as a template for working out a holiday schedule.

  • Fill up your non-kid time. If your divorce is recent (or pending) the holidays can be lonely. You may have spent years listening to the hustle and bustle in the house as the excitement builds for the holidays. Now it is silent. Instead of letting that silence get to you, be proactive and fill up your non-kid time. That can be even more challenging in 2020 as we are all social distancing; however, a little creative thinking helps. Plan a movie marathon. Set up a zoom call with extended family. Foster a pet during the holidays.

  • Make the most of your kid time. When you do have the kids, do not spend the time dwelling on the fact that you will not have them for the entire holiday. Plan age-appropriate activities for the time you have them. If they are young, plan to bake cookies and watch animated Christmas movies. If they are older, go through the house and put together a box of items to donate to a local charity and watch a funny holiday movie. Whatever you do, make the most of the time you have with your kids.

  • Document any disagreements/violations. Despite your best efforts, disagreements about the kids and/or parenting time may occur during the holidays. Do what you can to prevent them from escalating; however, document any violations of an existing possession and access schedule. Getting into court during the holidays is difficult in any given year. This year, the courts are already backed up because of Covid so litigating contempt accusations will not happen for weeks, even months, after the problem that led to the litigation. That means you will not be able to rush into court to resolve problems that arise during the holidays. Do your best to keep things civil, but document problems and contact your attorney about them at your earliest convenience.

Contact a Fort Worth Fathers Rights Attorney

If have concerns or questions about your rights as a father, contact an experienced Fort Worth fathers rights attorney at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.