The holiday season is here and if you have recently gone through a divorce, you may be wondering what the best course of action is regarding holiday visitation for your children. The children will likely want to make sure they get to visit both sides of their family during Thanksgiving, so it is important that you and your ex-spouse come up with a fair parenting plan that works in the best interests of your children.
Divorce makes the holiday season difficult. After all, developing a holiday custody schedule can be rough if parents cannot see eye-to-eye. As such, there may be tears and frustrations over who spends the most time with the kids. During this time, both parents and children can feel the tension.
Parents likely want to spend the holidays alone with their children. Yet, children want to spend the holidays with both of their parents. Add in grandparent and family schedules, and you can imagine how difficult it is to set up the perfect holiday custody schedule.
How do you divide up the holidays so that everyone is happy? Is that even possible?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” parenting time agreement for the holidays. That said, there are a few common methods that divorced parents use to create a fair holiday parenting plan.Here are a few ideas that have helped many families adjust to the holidays after divorce.
Option #1: Alternating Holidays
One of the most common ways divorcing parents divide holiday parenting time is to alternate holidays. For example, one parent may get the children on Christmas in odd years. The other parent may get the children on Christmas in even years. This is a popular parenting time schedule. It lets each parent retain physical custody of their children for some of the big holidays every year.
Option #2: Fixed Holidays
Another way parents can build a holiday custody schedule is to assign fixed holidays to each parent. Perhaps one parent is Jewish, and the other parent is Christian. In this situation, the Jewish parent may request to have Hanukkah permanently assigned to them. That way, the children spend every Hanukkah with the parent that celebrates that holiday. Meanwhile, the children can also spend every Christmas with their other parent.
Option #3: Split Holidays
Parents who live close by may wish to split the holidays. This allows each parent to spend a portion of each holiday with their children. One parent may get the children for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. The other parent may get the children for the second half of Christmas day. This plan tends to work best when both parents are agreeable and live in close proximity. The schedule can stay fixed or alternate on even years and odd years so that each parent gets to spend different parts of each holiday with their children.
Option #4: Double Holidays
For some families, doubling holidays is a popular holiday parenting plan. This way, children get to celebrate the holidays twice – once with each parent. When doubling holidays, parents may choose two different days to celebrate Christmas. One parent may choose to celebrate Christmas on the 25th every year. The other parent may choose to celebrate Christmas on the 27th every year.
The holidays can be tiring and frustrating after a divorce. The state of Texas offers some co-parenting guidelines to help, but not every solution is that easy to come by. Fortunately, our Lewisville child custody attorney can help you create the holiday custody schedule that is best for you and your children. With a firm and detailed parenting plan, you can start the holiday season without fear or frustration. Knowing what to expect and how much time you will have with your children is the key to making the best of your holiday situation.
Contact Our Flower Mound Child Custody Lawyers Today
Divorce can be one of life’s most difficult moments. After divorce, the holidays can be even harder. Fortunately, there are ways to make the holidays a little easier. An experienced Lewisville child custody attorney can answer all of your questions about child support, parenting plans, and the holidays. Call the Julian Law Firm at (972) 459-4400 or fill out our confidential contact form for a consultation and review of your case.