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Explore General Legal Issues

4 Holiday Schedule Ideas That A Child Custody Lawyer May Recommend

by Ralph Griffin

Child custody schedules often create conflict between former significant others. Even if you and your ex find yourself agreeing on the regular visitation schedule, you may still have disagreements on the holidays. A family law attorney or child custody lawyer can help you come to an agreement on a holiday visitation schedule that works for both you and your ex. Here are a few common options that a child custody attorney may suggest trying.

1) Alternating Holiday Visitation

Many couples find that an alternating holiday visitation schedule works well for them and their children. In this situation, you and your former significant other would typically decide ahead of time which parent gets to have the children on major holidays such as Christmas. Then, you would switch off holidays each year. For example, the mother might have the kids on even years, and the father might have the kids on odd years for Christmas. This method is often very beneficial because it creates a consistent schedule that both parents can prepare for and plan around in advance.

2) Split Holidays

In some cases, splitting up holidays may be the best option for your particular situation, such as one parent taking the morning visitation schedule and one parent taking the afternoon schedule. This would allow both parents to spend time with their children on holidays without having to switch off years or trade visitation days. Depending on the holiday and how much distance is between you and your former significant other, this choice could be quite convenient for both of you.

3) Shared Holiday Visits

Another common holiday schedule idea that a child custody lawyer may suggest is spending holidays and other major celebrations together, such as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With this schedule, you may agree that one parent will spend the night at the other parent's home on Christmas Eve so both parents can wake up with their children and open presents.

This schedule can work if you and your ex are still on good terms and your new partners, if applicable, are okay with the arrangement. However, things can change as new romantic relationships develop, so you may want to have a family law attorney draft an alternate holiday schedule as well.

4) Designated Holiday Schedule

A child custody lawyer can help you and your ex decide which holidays you should each have instead of alternating. For example, your ex may agree that you can have the kids every year for Thanksgiving and Easter if you give your ex every Christmas and Halloween. Also, you may both agree that you can have the kids on your birthdays or days such as Mother's Day or Father's Day.

You aren't limited to the options above for holiday visitation. A child custody lawyer can help you create the visitation schedule that best meets everyone's needs.  

For more information, contact a local company like Tri Cities Law Group