Visitation During the Holidays

child hand holding adult's finger

During the holidays, divorced spouses may want to spend time with their children but have to determine visitation plans and dates, which can cause tension between the family. To combat this, experienced visitation attorneys have identified beneficial ways to navigate visiting schedules for your children during the holidays.

Establishing Visitation Schedules in the Parenting Plan

When one parent has primary custody of the children, visitation privileges are generally granted to the other parent. Standard child custody and visitation arrangements have specific visitation rights for the non-custodial parent, and holiday visitation plans will often be established as part of those agreements. If parents have joint custody, usually the holidays are shared equally.

Typically, non-custodial parents will have holiday parenting time even if it does not fall on their regular parenting time days. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day are significant holidays usually addressed in the parenting plan. Other holidays may also be added depending on the parents’ lifestyle, culture, and religion.

Methods to Navigate Different Holiday Visitations

A common method many co-parents use when determining visitation is to divide the holiday in half. This allows the child to spend the first half of the holiday with one parent and the second half with the other. If this option is unattainable because of each parent’s location, they can instead celebrate the holiday twice. For instance, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the child on December 20th and the other parent on December 25th. This can also apply to holidays that often have long weekends, such as Thanksgiving.

Child’s Birthday

If the child’s birthday is in the summer, it may be best to alternate it as a “holiday” established in the parenting plan. However, if the child’s birthday falls on a weekday during the school year, parents may not want to categorize it as a holiday because it could cause conflict between the child’s birthday, school, and extracurricular activities. Instead, celebrating the birthday over a weekend may be appropriate. Parents can opt for sharing time with their child on the child’s actual birthday.

Extended Weekends

During three-day holidays, parents might alternate the holidays or give the Monday holiday to the parent who already had custody of the child during the weekend. Extended weekends are classified as holidays such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or President’s Day.

Holidays like Spring Break are also an excellent opportunity for the non-custodial parent to have a longer window of time with their child during the school year, especially when the parents live far from each other.

Contact an Experienced Attorney For More Information About Visitation During the Holidays

Our firm understands the most important thing for you is to ensure your child or children have an emotionally stable, joyful, and safe holiday. With the help of our compassionate attorneys, you can develop a parenting plan that addresses holiday visitation to create a seamless and worry-free holiday. To get started, reach out to our team today for more information. We are happy to assist you.