With the holiday season in full swing, we thought it was timely to write about child custody during this time of year. For parents who are married, they usually look forward to spending Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas with their children because they don’t have to worry about not seeing them during the holidays. But for separated, divorcing, or divorced parents, the holidays can bring feelings of stress, especially when they think they’ll have to spend a holiday all alone, without their children.
If you’re wondering how you’ll cope and how you’ll divide the holidays with your ex, we have good news: It doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful at all. In this article, we discuss some great ways to handle child custody during the holiday season.
Addressing the Holidays in the Divorce
When parents file for divorce, they have to address child custody, child support, asset and property division. In fact, parents cannot get a divorce until the parents agree on a child custody schedule, which addresses the holidays. If you haven’t done this yet, be aware that you and your ex will have to work together until you reach an agreement, one that is in the best interests of your children.
When you come to the issue of holidays, here are some important things to consider:
- Your children’s ages
- Your children’s relationship with each parent
- The distance between both of your homes
- Your children’s school schedules
- Both of your work schedules
- Family traditions during the holidays
- Your children’s interests in specific holidays
Making a Holiday Schedule
While there’s no wrong or right way to go about a holiday schedule because every family is different, it is common for parents to alternate holidays each year. For example, in even years, the mother gets the children on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and on odd years she has them on Christmas Day but not Thanksgiving, rotating each year with the father.
When the parents get along, they may be more flexible. Instead of rotating holidays each year, they may celebrate the holidays together, including each other’s new significant others, making it one big family holiday celebration.