During the holidays, we all want to carve out time to see our friends and loved ones and make memories with those we cherish. However, it can also be hectic and stressful when parents try to create the perfect holiday season for their kids. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush, it is vital to remember to create a holiday custody schedule that works for you and your entire family.
At Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC, we want to help you craft the perfect holiday custody schedule for your family. Here’s where to start:
Identify the Goals of You and Your Family
First, outline your ideal holiday scenario. Who do you plan to celebrate with? Where do you want to go? List which holidays mean the most to you and identify why you want your child to share them with your family. Writing out your goals and plans can help you articulate your needs and what’s important to you when discussing a holiday visitation schedule with your ex.
Ways to Create a Holiday Visitation Schedule
How do you create the perfect holiday schedule for your family? Consider some of these popular methods for drafting a holiday visitation schedule:
- Alternate holidays every year – Want to give both parents the chance to celebrate the holidays with the children? Consider scheduling visitation for alternate holidays every year. You celebrate Thanksgiving with your child this year, and next year, your former spouse does.
- Split the holidays – Some families prefer to split holidays in half. That means one parent gets to celebrate a holiday with a child in the morning, and the other parent gets to see the child in the evening. However, for this arrangement to work, you need clear communication between parents about pick-up and drop-off times. This arrangement also tends to work best when families live near each other because it cuts down on transportation time between homes. No one wants to spend the whole day in the car instead of celebrating.
- Assign fixed holidays – Do you love Christmas but hate New Year’s Day? You may want to consider assigning fixed holidays. One parent gets to spend time with their child on certain holidays and occasions, and the other parent gets a different set of holidays.
- The two-day holiday solution – Families can also schedule a two-day holiday solution. One parent celebrates Christmas on the 25th, and the other parent can celebrate the occasion on the 26th. Or maybe Thanksgiving is celebrated on Thursday and Friday. The spirit of the holiday is held in your heart, not based on specific calendar days. Additionally, your child gets double the fun.
Communication Is the Key
Communication is vital to developing a holiday custody plan that meets everyone’s needs. Are you traveling this year? Are you content spending a quiet holiday at home with loved ones? If you and your ex-partner are on good terms with one another, you can openly discuss your holiday plans and arrive at a mutual, casual agreement that makes everyone happy.
If you do not have the best co-parenting relationship with your former spouse, you may need to file a request for custody modification with the court. However, remember that the burden is on your shoulders to prove circumstances have changed enough to warrant a custody modification and that such a modification is in the child’s best interest.
Talk to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
It is never too early to start planning for the holidays. If you need help with a holiday visitation schedule, contact the experienced and compassionate family law team at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC. Call us today at (586) 776-1700.