With a worksheet provided by a child psychologist (the custody expert my ex refused to continue to see), I am trying to come up with an arrangement that I feel good about and that I might be able to get him to sign.
I'm getting stuck at Christmas and Thanksgiving and wonder if you can share anything from your experience. I'm overwhelmed trying to sort this out, so I apologize in advance for my rambling.
Starting next year, my children's school will have the whole week of Thanksgiving off. We usually travel for Christmas, but not Thanksgiving, as relatives are far away. We typically just have Thanksgiving dinner with friends. My ex has never contributed in any way to Thanksgiving dinner and does not cook.
So . . . Keep our usual weekly schedule and alternate that Thursday each year? I don't know that alternating the entire week-long break would make sense if we generally stay in town.
Does anyone have a requirement in the agreement that the holiday be celebrated as the children have traditionally celebrated it?
This last Christmas was our first apart. The kids were with him Christmas Eve, spent the night with me so they could wake up here Christmas morning and he came over to see them open the presents under the tree. He buys no gifts, never has, and doesn't care about decorating.
I think we could continue with what we did last year (Eve with him, morning with me), but that requires us to both stay in town. Maybe being with both of us Christmas morning is more important than being with relatives the whole break.
2014 Christmas falls on a Thursday and the kids are out of school starting the preceding Sat., the 20th, returning to school 1/5. Should we keep roughly our usual parenting schedule before Christmas, do the Eve and Morning thing, and then split the time before the 5th in case we want to visit relatives?
I think that would work for next year, but it seems like we need terms that work every year. Does anyone set new plans each year? I'm dealing with someone who is frustrating this process and will not return emails, so I'm not sure ongoing negotiation is the best idea.
As always, any advice from you life savers is always appreciated!