What to know about child custody during the holidays?

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Divorces can be full of animosity, however, divorced couples need to eliminate that hostility and put their child’s needs first. This means they should work with their ex to create a holiday plan that allows their child to spend equitable time with each parent. Holiday child custody visitation schedules can ultimately allow children to celebrate holidays with both of their parents and all of their relatives. If you need help ensuring your child custody agreement allows you to spend holiday time with your child, contact a trusted Monmouth County Child Custody Attorney.

Why should divorced couples create a holiday child custody visitation schedule?

Divorced couples should create a holiday child custody visitation schedule to serve their child’s best interest. It is recognized that it is in a child’s best interest to spend equitable time with each parent. This means divorced couples need to divide and share holidays to ensure each parent gets a fair amount of parenting time with their child. Divorced couples can arrange holidays in several different ways including:

  • Split holidays. Divorced couples may choose to split their holidays in half. This means each parent would get to spend half of the day celebrating with their child.
  • Alternate holidays. Divorced couples may also choose to alternate holidays every other year. However, they should adjust their plans for even-numbered and odd-numbered years. This plan is fairly common as it allows each parent to spend full days celebrating a holiday with their child.
  • Fixed holidays. Divorced couples may choose to assign a fixed holiday to each parent, meaning the same holiday would be spent with the child every year. This is an especially great option for parents who value specific holidays over others. For instance, if one parent cherishes Christmas they may want to spend it with their child every year. However, they must be willing to compromise, meaning they must give up spending a different holiday with their child.
  • Schedule holidays twice. Divorced couples may also find celebrating a holiday twice allows them to spend more time with their child. This arrangement may require one parent to celebrate a holiday a couple of days before or after the actual holiday. The other parent will get to spend holiday time with their child on the actual date of the holiday.

It does not matter what option co-parents choose, however, they must create a plan that serves their child’s best interest. Additionally, this may mean combining some of the above options. Having a set plan helps a child’s overall security. Children feel more stability knowing where they will spend their holiday and which parent they’ll spend it with. Divorced couples can also include:

  • Religious holidays
  • Birthdays
  • School breaks/vacations
  • 3-day weekends
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • State holidays

Holiday visitation plans are not limited to only major holidays. Divorced couples may find including these smaller holidays minimizes conflict. Having a set plan that both parents mutually agree on minimizes hostility and allows each parent to spend valuable parenting time with their child.

If you need help creating a child custody visitation plan, reach out to one of our qualified and dedicated attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients serve their childs best interests.