What is the most important time you have with your child? While holidays or big vacations are important, joyful times, you would probably agree that there is more to parenthood than the big events.
Watching children grow, helping them succeed and supporting them when they need help: These activities define parenthood. When facing divorce — at that moment when you realize you may not be there for all these important little moments — it is completely natural to want to fight harder for custody over the holidays, birthdays or for other major milestones. However, reasons exist why you may want to take a more collaborative approach.
Building a happy future
Thinking about the long-term futures of your children is important. For example, what if, years from now, they decide to marry and spend some of the holidays away at the in-laws? It may seem a long way off. However, you would be laying the groundwork for how your child handles this type of decision. Approach things amicably, and you may have a better chance of remaining a major part of your kids’ lives, even after they grow up and have their own families.
Strengthening your shared principles
Even if your ex-spouse has radically different ideas about parenting than you do, it is likely those ideas are coming from the same principles. Just like you, your ex probably wants your children to grow up with someone there to guide and support them. When you share these fundamental beliefs with someone else, there is usually a chance to find common ground.
Working within the system
Your feelings of competitiveness are real and justified. However, the material fact is that, except for in cases of extraordinary abuse or violence, a judge would probably want your kids to spend time with both you and your ex. If you come to the table willing to negotiate for your children’s best possible future, then you may not even have to take your divorce to trial.