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Gift-Giving Tips for Divorced Parents

Young girl opening a Christmas gift

The holiday season usually means gift-giving — especially to children. For divorced parents, picking out the perfect gift could get complicated as each parent wants their child to be excited about their gifts. Rather than having an argument about who will give what to the child, the team at Peterson White, LLP breaks down tips that will help make everyone’s holiday season merry and bright.

Coordinating Gifts with Your Ex

Communication is key when it comes to co-parenting. Especially around the holiday season, communication is crucial not only for coordinating schedules but also for gifts.

One option for gift-giving is to work on a list with your ex to determine who will give what. Ask your child for their top gift choices and make no promises that everything will be received. Then, go through the list with your ex and see what gifts you each would like to give. There also may be gifts on your child’s list that aren’t on their list — make sure to let your ex know about these gifts too. This will help eliminate the potential duplication of gifts and show transparency about what you intend to gift.

Talking with your ex about who will give what is also critical when it comes to gift-giving from extended family members. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members may want to give your child a gift. Work with your ex to see who may give what and be respectful of the other if there is a particular gift your ex wants to give. Additionally, if your child is asking for a large or expensive gift, see if your ex would be willing to split the cost with you and give the gift to your child when you are all together.

Sometimes miscommunication or a misunderstanding can happen and a child receives a duplicate gift. Remind your child that this is OK — even kids who have parents who are not divorced sometimes receive the same gift from two loved ones.

The most critical message to drive home during the holiday season is that your child is loved, by both parents and others, and the reason for the season isn’t about gifts but rather spending time with one another.

Where Do Gifts Stay?

Another factor to coordinate with your ex is where the gifts will stay. If it’s a cellphone, for example, then your child will want that to travel between your home and your ex’s. However, if it’s a large toy that would be difficult to travel from home to home, there needs to be a conversation with your ex on where that toy stays. Try to make a decision that you feel is best for your child and put any pride you may have to the side. Having level-headed discussions with your ex will help you both focus on what’s most important — your child’s wellbeing.

Questions About Gift-Giving?

Unfortunately, not all former couples feel comfortable having conversations like this. It can feel like you’re talking to a brick wall especially if there is a lot of tension between you and your ex.

Whether you’re having difficulty determining a gift-giving situation, or you’re considering splitting up with your partner and are concerned about the process, the attorneys at Peterson White, LLP are here for you. During this holiday season, emotions can run high and we will be by your side throughout the process. Reach out to us today either through our online form or by phone — (855) 919-4124.