There is a lot of pressure around the holidays for families to put on perfect events. The pressure can feel even more overwhelming for families that share custody of children. How can you ensure everyone gets to celebrate the holidays with the ones they love?
Whether you adhere to a legally binding court-ordered custody arrangement or you and your ex are more flexible about child custody arrangements, there are proactive steps you can take to make the holidays merry and bright for everyone. At Invictus Law, our experienced family law attorneys want to help ease the burden of the holiday season by offering tips on creating a happy holiday custody schedule for you and your family.
What Do You Want the Holidays to Look Like?
Coming to an amicable holiday custody schedule can be challenging, even when you and your former spouse have an informal or causal custody agreement. The holidays are annual highlights for children, and understandably, both parents want to share the magic of the season with the people most important to them. However, sometimes compromise is needed for everyone to have a happy and successful holiday.
Before you begin making holiday plans, consider your ideal holiday schedule scenario. Are you planning on traveling out of town? Which holidays are important to you and your family? Take the time to outline your goals and potential plans. Next, communicate with your former partner, share your needs and goals, and listen to what’s important to them. With work and patience, you can devise a visitation schedule that works for everyone and addresses the child’s best interests.
How to Create a Happy Holiday Visitation Schedule
Where do you start when creating a happy holiday visitation schedule for you and your family? These are some of the most popular methods for creating a holiday custody schedule:
- Split the holidays – Families that live near one another may consider having a split holiday schedule. The child spends the morning with one parent and the evening with the other. This arrangement allows everyone to spend time with their child on each holiday. However, this visitation arrangement is not ideal for families who live far away from each other because transportation time can cut into visitation time.
- Alternative holidays child custody– Many parents succeed with alternative holiday schedules. One year, a parent has their child for summer vacation, while the other gets the child for the holidays. The following year, swap schedules.
- Assign fixed holidays – Some holidays are more important to some families than others. If you and your former spouse aren’t attached to the same holidays, you may wish to assign fixed holidays to each other. One parent always gets Thanksgiving, while the other gets Christmas. Dividing up the holidays allows everyone to celebrate their favorite holidays with their child.
- The two-holiday plan– Often, children wish that Christmas could last longer than one day. Give them what they want, schedule two holidays, and make the season easier on you and your former partner. Allow your child to celebrate the actual holiday with one parent and then schedule another “Christmas” or “Thanksgiving” on another day and celebrate again.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney for More Holiday Help
Creating a holiday custody schedule requires communication. If you need more help working with your partner to arrive at a holiday child custody schedule that considers your child’s best interests, discuss your situation with the child custody lawyers of the Invictus Law team. We want to help you celebrate the holidays with the ones you love. Call our office today at 757-317-5125 for more child custody visitation help.