The Right Parenting Plan Can Make All the Difference During the Holidays
The holiday schedule in a parenting plan is a portion of the visitation schedule that addresses where your children will be for each holiday.
When co-parents are getting along, it’s easy for them to think that they don’t need to create a detailed holiday schedule in their parenting plan. However, it can be challenging to decide who gets what holiday or how a holiday may be shared, especially when conflict arises.
Working together with the other parent to establish a solid holiday schedule as part of the overall parenting plan and time-sharing schedule can make all the difference during the holidays. The more specific you can be when it comes to the terms of your agreement, the less likely you are to engage in disputes down the line.
Children thrive on routine and stability, and knowing where they will be for the holidays allows them some peace of mind.
Keeping this in mind will be crucial when establishing the terms of the holiday schedule in your parenting plan.
Below are some common ways that parents divide and share holiday time:
- Alternate holidays every other year. You can assign holidays to each parent for even years and then swap the holidays in odd years. With this arrangement, you won’t miss spending a holiday with your child for more than one year in a row.
- Split the holiday in half. You can split the day of the holiday so that your child spends part of the day with each parent. This arrangement requires planning and coordination because you don’t want your child to spend holidays traveling all day.
- Schedule a holiday twice. You can schedule a time for each parent to celebrate a holiday with your child. For example, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the child on Dec. 20th and the other parent on the 25th.
- Assign fixed holidays. You can have each parent celebrate the same holidays with the child every year. If parents have different holidays that they think are important, they can have those holidays every year.
You can use any combination of these to create a solid holiday schedule that allows your child to spend quality time with both parents.
Creating a holiday schedule that everyone is comfortable with is a difficult task. But it’s an important part of the parenting plan. You should consult with a family law attorney to discuss the terms of your holiday schedule in your parenting plan before conflict arises.