We recently worked with a couple that spent a great deal of time discussing their parenting plan. When we started drafting their agreement, we realized the true beauty of this plan. It was so finely tuned with details and attention to family values; it could never have been devised in a litigated divorce.
1. Thanksgiving: Their child never misses out on feeling she is feasting with both parents- The parents agreed that every year, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving the parents and the child would eat dinner at a restaurant. The reason for this was that the Thanksgiving holiday was being alternated between the parents each year, and the parents thought it was important that the child have some formal recognition of Thanksgiving with both of them.
2. Father’s Day includes grandfathers! Since the child was spending each Father’s Day with her father, the parents agreed that the child would spend the Saturday before the Father’s Day weekend with her paternal grandfather. In mediation, the mother expressed her concerns that her own father was aging and she wanted the child to celebrate Father’s Day with not only her father, but also her grandfather.
3. Christmas: Although the parents were alternating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year, they decided that they would all open presents together with the Child on Christmas morning and share a lunch Christmas Day.
Mediation allows you to truly devise a parenting plan that is based upon what is important to each of you. You have an opportunity to address your concerns, regarding spending some holidays apart from your child- and find ways to compensate for this. Mediation allows the true spirit of each holiday to shine for your children.