How to Decide on the Best Holiday Custody Schedule

Parent with Child During the Holiday SeasonFor divorced parents, deciding on a workable holiday schedule for custody and visitation can be a real challenge. A few simple strategies can sometimes provide added help in negotiating the holiday custody schedule and ensuring that children enjoy the season with both parents. By remaining flexible and working together, you can help your children experience the warmth and joy of the holiday season in a festive family setting. Here are some effective strategies you can use to create a workable child custody holiday schedule.




Splitting the Days

Mom with Daughter
For holidays that extend over two or more days, allowing each parent to have an equal share of the available time can often be a fair and equitable solution to a difficult situation. Christmas breaks can be split equally to allow you and your former spouse to enjoy time with your children during these holidays. If you still live within a reasonable distance of the other parent, you can even alternate days to give each of you a break while ensuring that your children enjoy the closeness of family throughout the holiday season.




Planning Two Celebrations

Dad with Child Custody During the Holidays
If distance prevents you and your former spouse from conveniently splitting the holiday, you may be able to plan a second celebration that may or may not fall on the actual date of the holiday. For instance, if your child custody holiday schedule grants you the right to spend Christmas Day with your children, the other parent may choose to celebrate the holiday on December 27 or any other date that suits each of your schedules. This can help your children get in the spirit of the season even when you and your former spouse are ironing out the details of a holiday arrangement for divorced parents.




Alternating Each Year

Shared Holiday Custody ScheduleDepending on the stipulated terms of your holiday custody schedule, alternating the dates on which you have custody of your children with your former spouse may be a low-stress way to resolve conflicts arising from the holiday schedule. This strategy requires little or no compromise on your part and is ideal for parents who live at a considerable distance from each other. Additionally, because this system can be used year after year, it can minimize the amount of discussion and contact needed between you and your former spouse.


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