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Have a happy post-divorce Mother’s Day with visitation planning

Have a happy post-divorce Mother's Day with visitation planning

Happy Mother's Day this Sunday to all moms, whether you're married, divorcing, divorced or single. Not only is it the holiday meant to celebrate the essential contributions of mothers, it's also a traditional harbinger of spring, which we could all use this year.

If you're considering or are in the midst of a divorce, you may want to think ahead about future Mother's Days. If you want to make sure that your kids will always spend that day with you, the best place to start is to discuss the structure of your child custody and visitation with your lawyer and make sure you negotiate, or ask a judge, to put it explicitly into your parenting plan.

If you already have your final divorce decree and you didn’t explicitly specify Mother’s Day as time for you and the kids, it’s not too late. Chances are, your ex would like the kids on Father’s Day, so it’s often easy to negotiate these arrangements. Don’t just verbally agree, however, if there’s any likelihood that your ex would change his mind later. Instead, petition for a modification to your parenting plan in court -- It’s not difficult or expensive.

Worried about the cost of gifts? In a relatively amicable divorce, you may be lucky enough to have an ex who will spring for gifts to you from your children, or agree to help the kids purchase them with money your provide. If that’s not an option, take the opportunity to teach your kids how to express their love and appreciation in ways that don’t cost money. It’s a valuable lesson that will serve them well in the long term.

Finally, even when you have Mother’s Day officially reserved in your parenting plan, life may simply intervene. If plans don’t work out, don’t get discouraged. With advance notice, you can pick an alternate day to celebrate Mother’s Day. The point isn’t to celebrate on the same day as everyone else, but to keep up an important family tradition that kids will treasure when they’re older.

Have fun this Mother’s Day, and treasure your bond with your kids.

Source: Huffington Post, "Single Mom Mother's Day: How To Celebrate Mother's Day After Divorce," Mandy Walker,, May 10, 2013

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