As we start the holiday season, many Georgia divorcing families are faced with the conflict of establishing new traditions versus honoring the family’s past traditions. Love it or hate it, the Elf on the Shelf tradition is alive and strong. Consider using the Elf as an opportunity to start, or improve, your co-parenting relationship. One of the best gifts you can give to your children as divorcing parents in Georgia is to celebrate their relationship with your co-parent.
While Georgia’s custody laws do not require that parenting plans include a Santa tie-breaker, the spirit of fostering and encouraging a relationship with the other parent is right there in O.C.G.A. §19-9-3 as a factor to custody determinations. The parent that is thoughtful and considerate of supporting the other parent’s relationship not only puts themselves in a better position to be the tie-breaker in the event of a conflict on major medical, educational, religious or extracurricular decisions, they are also putting their children’s needs above the hate they may have for their ex-spouse. Not only that, but we hear Santa puts parents who prioritize successful co-parenting skills on the Nice list!
As experienced family law attorneys in Roswell, Georgia with a combined 30 years of family law experience, we’ve put together a list of successful tips to make your child’s Christmas wish come true- a successful co-parenting relationship!
1. Consider having the Elf travel between homes. Have fun with this! Make Buddy a special carrying case that the child can decorate to represent each home’s holiday style. Use our Co-Parenting Elf Calendar (link below) to coordinate what that mischievous Elf is doing in each household.
2. Help your child pick out a Christmas gift for the other parent. This shows that it’s safe to love their other parent and puts you on the nice list!
3. Discuss who will be in charge of the Santa visit. Can you consider using only one location’s Santa each year for continuity?
4. Write Santa a letter reminding him that the child has two special households and when the child will be celebrating with each parent so Santa can remember to visit twice!
While you may not love your Elf on the Shelf, your love for your child will shine through when you consider how you can use your holiday time to improve your co-parenting relationship.