As a divorce father, the trickiest times of year fall around children’s birthdays and throughout the holiday season.  This is especially true for newly divorced dads.  With each year that passes new traditions start to take hold and the season pass without thinking too much about the way things used to be.  Unfortunately it takes time to get comfortable with the way the family is now structured as well as creating new rituals, traditions and special moments together.

When it comes to raising children after divorce there are some couples who can happily agree on everything to do with their children.  They jointly are involved in everything and are comfortable with the new life each has developed.  However, there are some couples that no matter what have a hard time agreeing on a joint way to handle anything involving their children.

Sharing custody can happen in a way that you are both a part of everything and that the only basic difference is which house the kids are sleeping at that night.  It can also be drastically different, one in which the only time you have with your children is the time you are scheduled with them.  You can only attend sporting events when the kids are on your time, you can only attend school functions that fall during your allotted custody time.  The arrangement you have throughout the year will really dictate the natural progression of the holiday season.

If you and your spouse can’t stand one another it is unfathomable that Santa will make just one visit to an agreed upon destination.  If this is the case and you find yourselves unable to put aside your differences you will have to create a new tradition with your children.  Maybe on the Christmas you don’t have the children Santa brings a destination vacation instead of presents.  Then during your allotted time you can go away with them and spend time making memories that have nothing to do with the normal holiday traditions.  On the years in which they celebrate Christmas with you consider going all out on traditional happenings found throughout the season.  The key is to be flexible.  Enjoy the time that you have with them instead of allowing the focus to be on the time without them.

No matter what your level of communication is with your ex it is always advisable to have a plan.  Choose to be proactive in planning for holidays, birthdays etc… and be willing to be the flexible parent.  This goes a long way with making the time your children have with you less stressful.  You may find that you are the one always biting the bullet especially when special occasions come up.  This is hard to take in at first but your ability to flow through these situations will stay with your children forever.  They will see you as the one sacrificing and the one easing their distress.  Choose to be kind and generous.  It is something that your kids will appreciate.

This being said you don’t have to be a push over.  Of course, if there is an issue it is best to meet with your divorce attorney and ask for guidance.  Maybe it is time to meet with friend of the court to work out a more suitable agreement, something that better addresses special occasions within the children’s lives.

Longton DM, a subsidiary of Longton Law Offices is a divorce attorney specializing in Men/Dad’s in divorce.  For experienced representation throughout the divorce process in Trenton, Michigan and the surrounding area you can find more information at