Last month we discussed how the holiday season can be a stressful, emotional and contentious time for divorced and separated spouses. Now that the week of Thanksgiving is upon us, it is worth noting again that the holiday season is for good tidings and cheer, not for fighting over parenting time. Of course, this is easy to say in the abstract, but it is critically important given that children form lifelong impressions during the holiday season. With that, we will revisit our tips…as they apply to Thanksgiving.

Know your order – Parenting time plans and custody decrees commonly specify how the holiday should be divided. They also provide room for modifications…if both parents agree. Make sure you know how your order works, as well as how contingency plans operate should things go wrong.

Flexibility is key – The best contingency plan is to be flexible, especially if things out of your (or your ex’s) control affect the time you can spend with the kids. If traffic or weather prevents travel, be prepared to have a plan B. this may include having Thanksgiving on Black Friday, or during the big game with Michigan.

Compromise for the kids’ sake – Most importantly, do not use the holidays for an opportunity to get back at your ex, especially for past scheduling (or other) mistakes. Family court judges do not like vindictiveness during the holidays, and it sets a terrible example for children to follow when they get older. So do your best to compromise. It will help parents and children alike.

Source: About.com, How to Negotiate the Holiday Schedule You Want