Tips for Handling Child Custody during the Holidays

Between making last minute arrangements and organizing family gatherings, the holiday season can be stressful on its own. For divorced parents, it can be an especially rough time. It is often difficult for children and parents alike to adjust to splitting a holiday and when celebrations conflict with normally scheduled custody arrangements, disputes can quickly arise. However, no matter how you feel about working with your ex-spouse, now is the time to put children first. By making a well-drafted child custody holiday schedule, you can work out potential disputes before they become a problem.

Three considerations for creating a holiday custody schedule:

  1. Decide what days are important to you: There is no one way to set a holiday custody schedule and determining the personal importance of each day can assist in negotiations. Common arrangements include rotating custody each year, splitting a holiday in half, or trading one holiday for another. For example, New Year’s Day may be a priority for your family while the 4th of July is not. On the other hand, spouses may elect to split longer holidays, such as Christmas break.
  2. Celebrate a holiday twice: When a holiday is particularly important, but the single day cannot be easily split, parents may consider holding their own celebrations on different days. Children may like the idea of having two celebrations and can also spend an equal amount of time with each parent during the holidays each year.
  3. Get it in writing: Whatever arrangement you and your spouse decide on, make sure to commit it to writing and have a court sign off on the agreement. Verbal agreements may work in some cases, but if a dispute arises or one party changes their mind, spouses may not have the option of going to court for help with enforcement. A detailed document can give everyone a continual point of reference, helping to resolve conflicts.

Generally, holiday custody agreements take priority over regular child custody schedules, meaning that a spouse may have to give up their normal time. Issues relating to how this transition will occur as well as the time, dates, and locations of transitions can also be set in an agreement. Every family will have a different story and questions regarding your specific situation should be directed to an experienced attorney.

Questions about Holiday Custody Plans?

While the holidays have a way of amplifying emotions, creating a thorough plan can help to see that the season goes as smoothly as possible. At the Hedayati Law Group, P.C., we understand just how important family can be. Our Long Island divorce lawyers possess more than 80 years of combined experience and can help you to understand the different legal pathways that may lead to your goal. If you would like more information on what our firm can do for your family, we invite you to request a free consultation with our firm.

Call (631) 880-6440 or contact us online to speak to our attorneys about creating a child custody holiday schedule.

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