After a divorce, parents who share custody often struggle with sharing their children during the holiday season. While parents may want to spend every last minute of every holiday with their children, it is important to remember that the children likely want to, and will benefit from, seeing both of their parents over the holidays. Finding a way to make that happen may require some creative planning, but it is possible.
Here are 4 ways that divorced parents can adjust their holiday custody schedule.
One of the most common ways divorcing parents divide holiday parenting time is to alternate holidays. For example, one parent may get the children on Christmas in odd years and the other parent may get the children on Christmas in even years. This is a popular parenting time schedule. It allows each parent to retain physical custody of their children for some of the big holidays every year.
Another way parents can build a holiday custody schedule is to assign fixed holidays to each parent. If one parent finds certain holidays more important than the other, then you can adjust your custody schedule to reflect that. For example, if one parent is Jewish and the other is not, the Jewish parent may request to have Hanukkah permanently assigned to them. That way, the children spend every Hanukkah with the parent that celebrates that holiday, while the children can spend Christmas with the other parent.
Parents who live close by may even choose to split the holidays. This allows each parent to spend a portion of each holiday with their children. For example, one parent may get the children for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and the other parent may get the children for the second half of Christmas day. This plan tends to work best when both parents are agreeable and live in close proximity. The schedule can stay fixed or alternate on even years and odd years so that each parent gets to spend different parts of each holiday with their children.
For some families, doubling holidays is a popular holiday parenting plan. This way, children get to celebrate the holidays twice – once with each parent. When doubling holidays, parents may choose two different days to celebrate Christmas. One parent may choose to celebrate Christmas on the 25th every year. The other parent may choose to celebrate Christmas on the 27th every year.
Knowing what to expect and how much time you will have with your children is the key to making the best of your holiday situation. You can use any combination of these ways to divide and share holiday time to create holiday arrangements that allow your child to enjoy family traditions and spend quality time with both parents. If you need help creating a holiday custody schedule that is best for you and your children, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today.