Child care agreements and holiday plans: Tips for Calgary parents

On behalf of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Friday, November 28, 2014.

Whether your relationship with your former spouse is amicable or strained, co-parenting during the holidays can be a challenge, especially if these are the first holidays with a new parenting plan. With that in mind, let’s discuss how Calgary parents can avoid disputes and help their children make warm and lasting memories.

If you and your co-parent have already negotiated a child custody agreement that establishes a time sharing plan during the holidays, then the agreement should be reviewed by both parties prior to planning any family gatherings. The last thing you want is for confusion to result in an unexpected parental dispute that causes anxiety and stress for the kids.

If you don’t yet have a written access agreement with your co-parent, then it is doubly important to plan ahead. If you and your co-parent intend to take the kids to separate family gatherings, then coordinating beforehand is the key to access for both parents.

Your children should also have a clear idea of what to expect during the holiday season. The time after separation or divorce can leave children very vulnerable.  While their input is important to hear, it is best for the co-parents to take the lead and have the final say about plans for the holidays.

Creating an effective custody and access arrangement is no easy task, and compromise between the parents is typically needed to reach family-specific solutions. Regardless of what the parenting plan is this holiday season, the children’s welfare should be the top priority.

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