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How do you set up a holiday parenting schedule?
When you have children, it can be difficult to decide how you want to split your time with them after a divorce. In an ideal world, you and your children would see each other every day and be a regular part of each other’s lives. As a parent who needs to share custody, you know that’s not possible.
One of the parts of your parenting plan and custody schedule that you should address early on is how you will split up the holidays. It’s easier to do than you may think. Here are some helpful tips.
- Discuss your favorite holidays with your ex-spouse
To start with, you and your ex-spouse should talk about the holidays that are or are not important to you. For example, you may want to have your children on Father’s Day or to have them on Christmas Eve. Both of you should sit down and write out the holidays you’d like to share with your kids. Whatever doesn’t overlap can be set into your plan as your custody day or a custody day for the other parent.
- Alternate overlapping holidays
Once you know which holidays overlap, consider alternating them. Decide who will have those holidays this year and who will have them next year. You might also go with a basic plan where you take any holidays that fall on your normal custody days.
- Consider discussing your holiday choices each year
If neither of you has specific preferences, or if you can’t agree at all, one final option is to alternate choosing the holidays you want. For example, you may state that you want to have Halloween this year, and the other parent may then choose a holiday that they’d like to celebrate with your children. Go back and forth until the schedule is made, and then consider revisiting the schedule next year.
These are a few options for you as you start to put together a holiday parenting plan. Decide how to split your time before the holidays approach, so you are prepared for any changes to your normal schedule in advance.