During and after your divorce – if you are a parent – you’ll probably have to share custody of your kids. Your Toronto divorce lawyer will do his or her best to get you the custody and visitation schedule you want, but ultimately, you will have to allow your ex-spouse to have them some of the time. Unfortunately, that means you may be alone on certain holidays, or you may have to plan a vacation without your kids.
Holidays without Your Kids
Holidays without your kids are tough – and they’re even tougher if you’re completely alone, when your other family members are too far away. However, you can use your “alone time” to your advantage. Go ahead and spend some time missing your children, and then take the time you have to accomplish things you’re otherwise too busy to do.
Filling your time will make it go by faster, and by doing things you enjoy, you’ll be able to de-stress and improve your mood, as well. Consider:
- spending time at a local charity
- planning a quick getaway
- organizing family photos and creating scrapbooks
- catching up on home updates
- getting a head start on after-holiday work
If you know you’ll face serious issues while your kids are with your former spouse over the holidays, think about talking to a counselor or family therapist beforehand. Ask your Toronto divorce lawyer for a referral to a local professional; remember, your lawyer has worked with several people in situations similar to yours, and has likely suggested counseling or therapy to other clients with significant success.
Holidays: How Your Kids Might Feel
Your Toronto divorce lawyer may recommend that you sit your kids down to explain the new holiday situation months in advance. Even if your Toronto divorce lawyer doesn’t bring it up, the sooner you talk to your kids about the adjustments you’ll all be making, the better.
The keys to communicating with kids are asking the right questions and truly listening to the answers. First, ask your kids how they feel about visiting your ex-spouse for the holidays – and then sit quietly while they tell you. Try to address their concerns and avoid making them feel
guilty about you being alone; let them know that you’ll be fine.
If your children are extremely opposed to visiting your ex-spouse for the holidays, you may want to consider consulting your Toronto divorce lawyer to see if alternate arrangements can be made, either on a temporary or permanent basis.
Planning Vacations without Your Kids
Parents often dream of a getaway without their kids… until they actually have to take one. Naturally, you’ll miss your children if you have to leave them behind – but you can, and will, survive the trip and be with your kids again.
Talk to your kids about your short, temporary separation and let them know you’ll still be accessible. Spend extra time with them before you leave, if possible, and try to put a positive spin on the situation. Don’t forget to consult with your Toronto divorce lawyer if you encounter any issues regarding your kids, visitation and custody; that’s what he or she is there for, and their experience and expertise can be an invaluable resource.