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How are things like holidays/visitations handled when the children in question have half siblings?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all, this is new to me.  I have 5 kiddos, my 3 older dd's father passed away 5 years ago, and 2 years ago, I had twins with a new guy.

 

However, we are no longer together due to his abuse and alcoholism.  After he was served with the pfa, he moved 2 hrs back to our old hometown.

We are in the process right now of mediation for the visitation of the twins.  He brought up how to handle the holidays.  My question is, when there are half siblings involved, does that influence holidays at all?

 

My other children are ages 9, 7, and 6.  They would be most upset if their younger siblings were not present for Christmas morning gift opening, or their Easter basket hunt, etc.

 

Would it be out of line to suggest splitting that day?  Say let them be home in the am for all that stuff, then they could visit their father later in the day?  How do others handle this?

 

I feel as though even with his alcohol abuse, my hands are still somewhat tied.  My attorney told me that the mediator may or may not order him to any alcohol evals, or any other such thing and that we can put stipulations in like that he cannot drink 24 hrs prior to or at any time during his visits with them.  I can refuse visits if he smells of alcohol and his visits are supervised at one of his siblings' homes.

 

Anyway, that 's not my issue right now, I really just wanted to know how others handle holidays, birthdays, etc., when there are half siblings involved?

 

Thanks so much for any help.

post #2 of 8

Your older kids are going to have to get used to the younger kids only being there every other holiday.  Now, it you and your stbx agree to you having them for each of those holidays, a judge will sign off on it.  I have had every Christmas since my ex and I split and he has had them every Thanksgiving and Easter.  His parents leave before Christmas so they celebrate at Thanksgiving and I am not into Easter (well, I am, but not as much as Christmas).  But that is something that my ex and I worked out.  Had a judge decided, the holidays would be split. 

 

What you can do on the years that your stbx has the younger kids is celebrate on a day that you do have them.  In the parenting class that the courts (in NJ) require divorcing parents with minors to take, there was a mediator speaking who had married someone with kids.  Apparently the mother had the kids every Christmas and the father got them the day after Christmas each year.  She thought that was unfair until she saw what happened.  Everybody, including aunts and uncles, grandparents made just as big a deal as if it were actual Christmas day.  The kids essentially had 2 Christmas'. 

post #3 of 8

I would check with your lawyer what standard visitation is in your particular state/county.

 

Where I live the major holidays actually are split in half at noon and switch every other year for who gets the morning vs afternoon.  Ex and I don't actually follow that because we feel it's too much for a kid to split a day like that, and we switch the whole day every other year (at least that is how it's supposed to go, but since ex can't get his life together he hasn't taken a holiday yet in 2 years).  Anyway...

 

Unforunately, having half-siblings isn't going to have bearing on your custody schedule.  It's really tough.  You can hope your ex will be able to see this and do what is best for the kids, but from the sounds of things he won't because he's not capable of being empathetic and thinking outside of himself, much like my own ex.

 

So as the PP stated, you will have to prepare your older kids for their younger siblings not being around sometimes... Though another thing you could do is just have your holiday all together on a different day, whatever day before your younger ones go with their Dad have your holiday early. 
 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, I ran that one idea by my attorney, about letting them be here in the mornings for Christmas and Easter.  I am waiting to hear back from her.

 

I can't imagine how he could make it a big deal, considering that he's spent the past holidays in a drunken and/or passed out stupor.  This past Christmas, he got up briefly in the morning (after staying up all night drinking) watched them open gifts, then drank some more, went to sleep, then didn't get up until 8 pm, after having missed the dinner I made for us.

 

I am thinking eventually he'll get tired of having to deal with the babies.  This past weekend was supposed to have been his 4th visit with them since I got him out.  He no showed.  Told my attorney that he might not make it this weekend.  I thought for sure he'd see them this weekend, considering that Aug 6th was their 2nd birthday.  

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

One other thing, it's actually kind of sad that siblings (even if half) don't even count in these types of situations.  

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlvr976 View Post

One other thing, it's actually kind of sad that siblings (even if half) don't even count in these types of situations.  

 

Divorce is sad.  The flip side is that he can't use the same argument you are attempting to use should he have kids with someone else.  The holidays will be split between the two of you regardless of prior or subsequent children. 

post #7 of 8

I have an older dd and then younger dd/ds with different ex.  My first ex and I have always worked it out ourselves.   In 14 years, she has missed one Christmas morning.  She hated it and so did the rest of us.  We usually split the day and he picks her up in at noon or so.  

 

My ex with the other two is not as flexible or understanding.  The past Christmas I had to work anyway so we had Christmas morning at 6pm.  And it ended up being just fine.  We all adjusted and were so happy to be back together again that it ended up not mattering that much.  I think you just have to make the most of it.  

 

My kids are older.  They decided they would wait until we are all together before any future present opening.   

post #8 of 8

The only holiday ex and I split is christmas day, and thats because one parent has the kids from last day of school until 10am on christmas day, then the other parent has them until the first day of school.

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