The holidays can be fun for your whole family with a little preparation.

Hi there,

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with it all of the holidays of the season! This time of year is particularly tough for folks who are just getting used to a coparenting situation. It’s also a challenging time for divorce lawyers and family courts, as lots of families are unable to settle holiday scheduling differences without recourse to the courts.

This year:

  • Thanksgiving is on November 26.
  • Hanukkah is December 6-14.
  • Christmas falls on a Friday.
  • Kwanzaa is December 26-January 1.

Work Together to Figure Out Your Schedule for the Holidays

If you haven’t already created a holiday parenting schedule with your ex, you should contact them right away to work out the details. Not everyone has a plan already set either by agreement or judgment, so if you can’t agree on your own you may need to contact your attorney to sort out the situation. With the timeframes for setting motion dates and the court scheduling problems that may arise, this needs to be tackled as soon as possible.

In most cases, scheduling should be possible without … Keep reading

Christmas presents beneath a Christmas tree

Hi there,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday.

Christmas presents beneath a Christmas tree
Presents for your kids can be under the tree in no time with a little coordination!

Even though Christmas décor has been up for weeks, I’m just beginning to coordinate Christmas shopping for my grandkids with their parents and their other grandparents. It’s an organizational hassle in an intact family, and far more complicated in a separated or divorced family. In past years I’ve posted about how to divide the holidays, and also about how to coordinate parenting time using apps like Google Calendar and My Family Wizard. … Keep reading

Christmas and Winter Vacation -- Have You Made Plans?

Hi there,

This is the time of year when newly separated parents have to figure out how to handle time with the kids during Christmas and winter vacation. Even if this isn’t your first Christmas as a divorced family, there are still possibilities for change to past years’ plans, but it is never easy. If you haven’t reached an agreement for this time of year, you need to SOON.

One of the worst ways to end up handling this is to have to ask the court to decide for you. Many Massachusetts judges now have closed lists, which means if a certain number of cases are scheduled to come into court on a day that is deemed full, you will need to pick another motion day. Some judges are now scheduling in mid-January.

Remember also if the schedule for the first Christmas holiday is not really what you want, you can always discuss alternating the times next year. A holiday parenting plan where the holidays are equally important to both parents often works best by flipping year-to-year. That way the kids get to share with both parents, and they get to create new traditions, which will … Keep reading