Updated: Dec 26, 2022
The holidays can be stressful for any family, especially a co-parenting family where children move between homes. However, you want to keep the experience as stable and loving for the kids as possible, so what are some examples of joint holiday custody arrangements?
Holiday Custody Arrangements
Children will feel safe and loved when a plan is in place. Prepare them for what the holidays will look like this year, speaking positively about when they are in your custody and when they are with the other parent.
Split the Holiday: One option is to pick up the child halfway through the day to, for example, share a Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of the family. Or, if it is Christmas, splitting the vacation in half and spending the week before Christmas and Christmas morning with one parent. Then swapping to the other parent for Christmas dinner and the following week after the holiday.
Alternate Years for Each Holiday: You can alternate years. If the kids were with you for Christmas last year, they would be with your co-parent this year. The same goes for Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and other important holidays for your family.
Resume the Regular Schedule and Celebrate on Different Days: It’s an option not to change the custody schedule at all. Instead, wait to celebrate the holiday until you have them during your time each week.
Divvying Up Holidays without Alternating: If Thanksgiving is really important to you, where the kids have a chance to play with cousins and travel to a grandparent’s home, perhaps you don’t want to alternate. You can have the kids for Thanksgiving each year, and your co-parent can have the kids during the 4th of July. If there are holidays more important to you than your partner, negotiate holiday time without alternating.
Miles & Hatcher, LLP, can help you agree on a holiday schedule that will benefit all parts of the family. Meet with our team to discuss drawing up a new plan for the holidays that will set expectations and make the children feel at ease. Call to schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.