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Divorced Dads Tips: Christmas and Holiday Access Tips - Celebrate Christmas Day before Mom

Feb 25, 2008
While Christmas and holidays, it really comes down to looking at things differently. Part of it is understanding the process of celebrating Christmas, and not letting that process get to you. This is where reframing it will really help. Some of this may sound foreign to you because right now it is an emotionally charged period of time and you just want to get something resolved now and it is not happening the way you want. We encourage you to not give up. Instead, step back and look at this in a much more logical way and a more strategic way and that is where we come in to help you with those strategies.

The first and most important part is not to rise to the bait of what is being put out top the Family Court and others - That were a) the bad dad, b) you are the deadbeat dad, c) that you are a menace to your child and society at large and cannot be trusted. Above all, if you are angry and why would you not be over all this.

We get calls where there are dads on the phone that are very, very angry. It's understandable and totally justified. However, no one within the system that is going to help you, nor help you turn around the situation if you are presenting yourself in an angry way. They will be looking at you and saying, "Oh okay. No wonder you are not seeing your kids. Look at where you are at."

A lot of your strategizing will come down to positioning. Often, many fathers or the grandparents have been positioned because of a lack of knowledge or a lack of education or a lack of guide rules?

Well, they are up against the wall. They have been pushed there. They are up against bigotry and ignorance.

Sometimes it is also the other party has more money for legal fees available to spend in Family Court proceedings, or they are on some sort of legal assistance so they can keep going back to court. Sometimes you cannot because you cannot afford to anymore. It is not a level playing field. The unfortunate casualties here are our children.

What distinguishes those fathers and grandparents who are successful in this situation is this: They were having a problem but ultimately they got it resolved before Christmastime - They started early, getting to Family Court long before the rush hour that happens the last few days before Christmas.

The fact is that the court system works very slowly and December is when people start worrying about seeing their kids. Also, marriages break up in December and January. It is the busiest time of marriage and family breakup there is in a year.

So, if you want to see your child, get started with your pans in October.

Why is that again?

For the very reason that in December, Family Court is just a bottleneck. There is just not enough time to get you in front of a judge to state your case as to what the problems are.

Now, here is one factor that you would keep in mind. This is something I am sure some of the people are thinking. Well, in October, everything seemed fine. I did not think it would be a problem seeing my kid for Christmas. Now, all of a sudden here we are a week away and I am being told "Well, no, you can't have little Danny on Christmas Eve like we originally planned. I've got something else going on now. You can see him for a couple of hours on Boxing Day on the 26th."

Well, this is why they have in every court system in the western world emergency procedures for just that sort of thing. That is why family court is so jam-packed at Christmas. The problem though that we encounter a lot of times and the statistics here in Southern, Ontario -- and this well pretty much throughout I think the western world from everybody I have ever talked to on this subject, 50-85% of people are going through family court with no lawyer whatsoever because either:

(A) They never had the money in the first place Or they spent all their money;

(B) They spent all their money; or

(C) They have had such a rotten experience they do not want a lawyer but they still do not know what to do.

The other problem of course is that you do eventually run out of money and you may not have all of your issues resolved when that money does run out. So, what do you do then?

The solution really comes down to is that you have got to become an educated consumer of the legal services and family courts services. In other words, you have to take it upon yourself to begin learning how the process works. The first place to start really is to go into your local family court and start watching on motion days to watch how judges decide things, to watch how the lawyers argue things, to see if you still have some money and you are interested in hiring a lawyer see if you could find a lawyer who actually can win for a father.

BUT consider the following: What if you celebrated Christmas a week early? What if you didn't tell the kids you were going to do this? Do you think they'd be unhappy?

Of course not and look at the legal fees you just saved that you can spend on Christmas presents instead.

My best advice: Celebrate Christmas Day before Mom you will be a HERO to your kids,
About the Author
Danny Guspie - Executive Director of Fathers Resources International can help you learn the successful strategies of fathers who have won in Family Court. Join us on our weekly calls at

DivorcedDadWeekly.com
where we will share with you what works for successful divorced dads.
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