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Child custody concerns during the holiday season

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Family Law |

The fall and early winter season can sometimes be difficult for divorced parents. This is the holiday season, starting with Halloween at the end of October and running all the way through New Year’s at the beginning of January.

Of course, the two most family-oriented holidays in that stretch are Thanksgiving and Christmas. This whole time can be somewhat difficult for parents, who have to adjust their schedule. After all, the children are going to have school breaks for some of these holidays and parents are going to want to celebrate with their children and other family members.

When you were married, you would just do this jointly. But how do you make it work now that you have shared custody?

Alternating holidays

One potential option is simply to make a schedule where you alternate which holidays the children spend with which parent. For example, this year, the children could spend Thanksgiving with you and Christmas with your ex. Next year, they can spend Christmas with you and Thanksgiving with your ex. This way, you still get to have all of the holidays with your children, just not as often as you would have otherwise.

Joint holiday celebrations

Another option is to have celebrations together. This only works if you and your ex are really willing to cooperate and get along, putting the children first. But if you can, you may be able to set things between you aside for the day and just enjoy the celebration without the need for a chaotic schedule.

Split up the holidays

Another option is simply to split the holidays themselves in half. For example, your children spend Christmas Eve at your house and wake up there on Christmas morning, but then you take them to your ex’s house after lunch. This can be a good schedule if the two of you live close together, but it also means that there could be a significant amount of travel time for the children. They don’t necessarily want to spend the holiday in the car, so this may not be ideal, depending on your situation.

No matter what you decide to do, be sure that you are well aware of your parental rights and your child custody obligations.