Creating a visitation schedule during the holidays can take some cooperation, communication, and time, but doing so will save you and your children a lot of stress and confusion in the end. By creating a schedule, your kids will have a sense of stability, which is a necessary element in child development. Learn how to create a holiday schedule with your co-parent that is cohesive, easy to remember and fair. Step 1 – First, determine when the Holiday starts. For example, if your child has Christmas break when does the Christmas holiday start? If one parent has custody of your children for the Christmas holiday, does this mean both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Does Easter Sunday start the night before so you can be on time for church early in the morning? Step 2 – Then decide how your plan to the split the holidays. There are many ways families can separate the holidays. Ultimately, what you choose for your family should only be determined by what works best for everyone. Below are some basic ways families choose to share holidays with their children.
- Alternate years – One parent chooses to certain holidays on even years, and the other parent chooses certain holidays on odd years.
- Split the holiday— If your holiday plans are local, you might decide to split the holiday. Perhaps Christmas Eve will be spent with one parent, while Christmas Day with the other parent.
- Fixed holidays: Maybe one parent loves Halloween and the other loves to have the children on Christmas. You can choose to have fixed holidays, so your kids will always know they spend Christmas with one parent and Halloween with the other.
Step 3 – Special accommodations for birthdays and long weekends should be discussed in your holiday visitation schedule. During these times, your normal custody schedule changes. Consider if your child will have two birthday celebrations or if you both will be attendance for one. If there are three-day weekends during the year, discuss how those will be handled. At Barach Law Group LLC, we understand how important child custody schedules are for you and your children. If you and your ex are unable to work out a holiday visitation schedule, our Framingham child custody attorney can help you through child custody mediation. We offer free consultations. Please contact us to schedule yours!