Being with your children becomes much more complex after a divorce. When time will the children be with you, and when will the children be with your ex-spouse? How do you want to deal with these issues? Will you and your ex-spouse make the plans or are you going to leave decisions like these to a judge who knows little about you, your family, and the traditions in your family.
For some families, Christmas Eve is the most important time and for other families Christmas Day is more important. Such decisions are best made by you and your ex-spouse. I am reminded of a divorcing family where one parent suggested that the children spend Christmas Eve with the other parent, and that parent’s extended family, because they will enjoy this the most. That extended family had a big celebration on Christmas Eve. This parent’s extended family is small and they did not do much on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was most important for them. However, this was not an even exchange. What was best for the children was the primary concern. Because the Christmas Eve celebrations went on until 1 or 2 a.m., this parent suggested that the transfer of the children take place at 12 noon – the parent was willing to forgo the pleasure of waking up with the children or seeing them early Christmas morning.
Many parents going thought a litigated divorce become focused on winning and not losing. They are not thinking of what is best for the children. On the other hand, a collaborative divorce is based on cooperation as a major premise. The focus is on what is best for the children and the family as a whole. An attitude of trust and transparency is established. Parents work with each other instead of against each other. They have the support of a team of experienced and caring professional to help them make decisions that lead to a resolution of conflict and an outcome that works for everybody.