After going through a divorce, the holidays can be tough, especially if children are involved. How holidays are shared can create a lot of issues between ex-spouses. Sometimes verbal agreements are fine, but in most situations, a legally binding schedule for the holidays is best to help resolve disputes before they ever happen.
Methods for Scheduling Holiday Parenting Time
- Alternating holiday: For holiday weekends and shorter holidays, one of the most common methods for dividing up parenting time is to alternate custody each year. For example, one parent will have custody on a specific holiday on even years and the other parent will have custody on that same holiday on odd years. This way the child will have a full holiday with each parent every other year.
- Celebrating the holiday on different days: Another option that often works well is for families to celebrate one holiday twice. The holiday will be celebrated once on the actual holiday and then celebrated again on a predetermined date.
- Select individual days: Alternating a holiday may not be the best situation for all families. Some holidays do not mean as much to one parent as they do to the other. For example, if mom likes to have the kids on Christmas, but dad really wants to have them on the Fourth of July, arrangements may be made for the kids to spend every Christmas day with mom and every Fourth of July with dad.
- Splitting the holiday: This arrangement may not be possible for a single-day holiday, but it may be an option for a longer holiday such as Christmas break. In this case, one parent will have the child for the first week of the break while the other will have the child for the second week. In this situation, it is important to define when the transition will take place and how.
In some situations, ex-spouses simply can not come to an agreement on sharing the holidays. If that happens, the disagreement can be handled in the courtroom. In most situations, a judge will follow the guidelines of alternating holidays every year while keeping the best interests of the child in mind. If you are trying to create or modify a holiday visitation schedule, it may be advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Holidays tend to be some of the most stressful times of year anyway, and that does not even take into consideration arguments regarding parenting time and who gets the children what day and time. While talking it out and working out an arrangement outside of court may be an option for some people, it is not an option for everyone.
Keep in mind that unless an arrangement is made in writing, the court may not have the authority to enforce the agreement. If you need assistance creating a holiday visitation schedule that the court can enforce, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have years of experience helping our clients ensure that they get the holiday visitation with their children that they deserve. Contact us today and let us help you.