Holiday-Hard-AssLet’s face it, the holidays can be a tough time to be divorced. Your children can’t be in two places at once and so celebrating means coordinating and scheduling with your ex-wife. The situation is often made worse by a sudden flurry of last minute emergencies and requested changes to the vacation schedule your former spouse claims are absolutely necessary.

If your ex has a seasonal habit of changing plans and causing you to miss out on time with your children, you might just need to be a hard-ass this holiday season.

Tip 1: Keep to the Parenting Plan
Both you and your ex-wife paid good money to divorce lawyers to end your marriage. The Parenting Plan you and your ex agreed to during the divorce should clearly spell out when each of you will have the children during the holidays. It likely took a lot of time and effort to finalize that plan. It is therefore a very poor idea to simply toss the parenting plan out the window and make something new up every November and December.

If your ex-wife has a tendency to get creative during holidays, remind her that you have a binding agreement she needs to honor. Follow the schedule you already have in place and avoid the last minute holiday shuffle.

Tip 2: Downgrade Emergencies
Visitation emergencies seem to be more common during the holidays than uninvited guests at the office Christmas party. Whether your ex-wife needs to keep the kids because her great Aunt Sofia is visiting for the first time in 30 years from Bulgaria or the children are starring in a last minute product of Oh Silent Night, changes to the schedule come in all shapes and sizes. When one of these emergencies does break out, make sure your ex-wife takes a deep breath and takes a step back. There is no need to rush changes to regular visitation.

Just because a change will make the holiday better for your ex-wife does not mean you need to be inconvenienced and lose time with your children. If your ex couldn’t tell you about these changes back in September, they must not have been that important.

Tip 3: Go Out of Town
If you live near your ex-wife, she may take advantage of the proximity during the holidays. After all, she can just come by and grab the kids since she just really needs them on your visitation day. If requests for sudden pickups during the holidays are becoming a problem, consider spending Christmas away. Enjoy the holidays with your children a few hours away from your wife. Having a planned holiday trip will help lock your visitation and give your ex little opportunity to request a change.

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