Now that December is here, the holiday season is in full swing. While this can be a time of joy and celebrations, for parents who share custody of children, it can also be tremendously difficult. The holidays can be a central point of contention when co-parenting, especially when celebrations conflict with regular child custody schedules. When verbal agreements simply will not work, establishing an official, legally binding holiday custody schedule can help to resolve issues before they arise. While a family court can provide guidelines, how you choose to divide the days can differ for each holiday.
Four tips for creating a holiday custody schedule include:
- Try alternating holidays: For single-day or weekend holidays, it is common to alternate custody each year. For example, you will have custody of your child on even years while custody will go to your spouse on odd years. This can also benefit children, who will not have to “split” short holidays and can spend time with both parents uninterrupted.
- Have multiple celebrations: While it may be improbable for you and your ex to have custody on a single holiday, you can always have multiple celebrations. Holding a separate celebration on a different day, such as the week after a holiday, can see that both parents spend time with their children each year. Furthermore, your child may like the idea of having two holidays.
- Consider which holidays are important to you: When negotiating which parent gets what days, keep in mind the holidays which are important to you as well as the ones which are not. For example, maybe your side of the family holds a large celebration on the 4th of July while your ex’s family favors New Year’s Day.
- Get an agreement in writing: However you choose to split up the holidays and vacations, be sure to solidify agreements in court. Verbal agreements may not be enforceable in court and by having a well-drafted document, each party will have a central reference point when looking to resolve disputes.
Holiday schedules are typically prioritized over regular custody agreements. Depending on how the holidays fall, it may mean that one parent must give up a period of time with their child that would normally be theirs. These issues can be resolved beforehand and a thorough and specific document can help to ease the transitions in custody.
Legal Help for Creating a Holiday Custody Plan
Between coordinating family events and making last minute preparations before the stores close, the holidays can be worrying on their own. Creating a detailed holiday plan can help prevent issues of child custody or visitation from adding to the stress of upcoming celebrations. At Springer Law Firm PLLC, we are dedicated to helping families reach their goals and can provide compassionate legal advocacy during child custody negotiations. Our Katy divorce attorneys can bring more than 65 years of combined legal experience to your case.
Call (281) 940-3244 or contact us online to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney about your situation.