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Mother's Day Tips for Divorced Moms

For all of us hardworking moms, this is the month we’ve all been waiting for, the time we all so desperately need. Yes, it will soon be Mother’s Day weekend. This is your time to accept thanks (or maybe even a nice gift) to recognize the many sacrifices you make, and all the time and effort you devote to making sure your child becomes a successful, strong adult.

Given the many cherished memories that often go along with this holiday, it is particularly important as a divorced parent to understand the time you are entitled to spend with your child(ren). The first step is to consult your custody or visitation order for holiday schedules, which will typically cover Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Texas Standards

Under the Texas Family Law Code, the standard visitation guidelines for Mother’s Day entitle a mother to possession of her child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending on Mother’s Day at 6 p.m. This standard applies even if the mother is not otherwise entitled to current possession of the child, so long as she picks them up from the residence of whoever is entitled to possession and returns them to the same place.

This year, Mother’s Day falls on the second weekend of the month. So, if you are the primary parent under a Standard Possession Order, then you already have this weekend of possession sewn up. If you are not already in possession of the child(ren) from May 12-14, then this weekend is now yours, and you can spend the time with your little one so long as you pick up and return them to the other parent’s residence.

Texas child visitation orders may differ from the norm to accommodate family situations, which is why it is so important to always check your decree first! If you are in doubt about your holiday visitation time, then contact a family law attorney who can help make sure nothing happens to affect this special season with your children.

Helpful Tips for Mother’s Day:

  • Eliminate surprise – Remind your co-parent about Mother’s Day weekend now if you haven’t already reached a possession agreement. Doing so will help eliminate any surprise that could impact the time you are able to spend with your child. Obviously, this reminder should be in writing.
  • It may not be too late to request a visit – If your current custody order doesn’t cover Mother’s Day, you still may be able to work out an arrangement with the other parent. At this point, it is too late to have it heard by a Court, but remind your co-parent about the importance of this time for you and your child, and offer to make similar arrangements for Father’s Day.
  • Enjoy your time – Remind your child how lucky you are to be the mother to such an amazing person. Make this weekend all about you and your child(ren), and don’t waste valuable time badmouthing your ex, which is never productive.
  • Play Fair – When a child doesn’t get his/her way with one parent, he/she sometimes will go to the other, hoping for a more favorable outcome. You might feel generous on Mother’s Day and be tempted to indulge your little one, but try to resist the urge, especially if it’s unfair to the other parent.
  • Be on time – It very important for your child to understand how much it means for you to be together on Mother’s Day, so BE ON TIME to pick them up. If you must travel to your co-parent’s home when you normally don’t, be sure to force a smile and try to make the exchange easy for everyone. Your child(ren) will notice and appreciate it too.
  • Father’s Day – As noted earlier, Father’s Day is right around the corner, which is why you should work toward having an easy exchange and happy children at Mother’s Day. Communicating effectively with your co-parent will increase the chances that you have a similar smooth transition on Father’s Day, which is only a month away!

Most of all, Happy Mother’s Day to you all. I know firsthand after having been a single mother and a married mother that raising children is tough and doing it with grace is always a challenge. By following these simple tips this year, you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back and accept your reward of an amazing weekend with happy children.