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Best holiday gift for your kids? Peaceful co-parenting

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Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of robust and joyful times. But if you and your child's other parent have a challenging relationship, the season can be anything but jolly.

You and your co-parent have many factors to consider when scheduling parenting time, such as your kids’ ages, the distance between households, family religious beliefs and traditions.Much of what you decide depends upon how well the two of you get along. If it's a combustible relationship, it's best to put differences aside and focus on your children's happiness.

Setting a sensible schedule

Holiday schedules are usually included in your Texas parenting plan, but co-parents typically choose one of two ways to share time.

  • Trading years: One parent keeps the kids for the entire winter break on odd years, and the other gets them during even years. They flip-flop possession for Christmas and Thanksgiving, so that each parent can spend one of the major holidays with their children.
  • Equal time: If you and your ex are on good terms, you might want to split Thanksgiving day and the day after as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or equally share possession during the kids’ winter break.

If you and your former partner are on very good terms, it might not be out of the question to spend the holidays together as a family. But make sure no hard feelings remain.

Collaborate over gifts

Always talk to your co-parent about gift-giving. Agree on what you’ll spend, so it's not a competition to buy the more expensive present. Also, make a list of all gifts, so you don’t run the risk of duplication or failing to get what your kids really want because you assume the other parent will buy them.

Follow the plan but be flexible

Court-stipulated parenting plans must be followed if you and your co-parent can’t agree on your schedule. However, many things can change after a standard possession order goes into effect.

As your kids get older, both of you may decide that it makes sense to do things differently. The key is to keep talking, agree to a detailed schedule and always focus on creating the best holiday experience possible for your children.

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