Negotiating Child Custody
During the Holidays

Your first holiday season following a divorce may be difficult. You may have celebrated the holidays with your former spouse and their family but are now no longer included in their festivities. When children are part of the equation, these feelings can be exponentially harder to sort out, especially if you and your former spouse cannot agree on custody arrangements for the holidays.  Here is an example of a holiday parenting time schedule:

  • Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th 6pm to Christmas Day, Dec. 25th 12pm: mother odd years, father even years
  • Christmas Day, Dec. 25th 12pm to Dec. 26th 6pm: mother even years, father odd years
  • New Year’s Eve Day, Dec. 31st 6pm to New Year’s Day, Jan. 1st 12pm: mother odd years, father even years
  • New Year’s Day, Jan. 1st 12pm-6pm: mother odd years, father even years
  • Martin Luther King Day: mother even years, father odd years
  • President’s Day: mother even years, father odd years
  • Easter Saturday through Easter Sunday: mother even years, father odd years
  • Memorial Day: mother odd years, father even years
  • July 4th: mother even years, father odd years
  • Labor Day: mother odd years, father even years
  • Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving: mother even years, father odd years
  • Father’s birthday: father, 4pm-8pm
  • Mother’s birthday: mother, 4pm-8pm
  • Mother’s Day: mother
  • Father’s Day: father
  • Child’s birthday: non-custodial parent, 7pm-8:30pm, unless otherwise agreed by the parents

The above schedule is assembled to provide an example of arrangements that can be fair and equitable for the parents while addressing the best interests of the children.  These parenting time arrangements can always be modified based on factors and circumstances such as availability and location of extended family members, as well as religious, and personal preferences. Major holidays throughout the year often result in high conflict parenting time and custody situations.

The sample parenting time arrangement above is designed to provide an example of ways to provide each parent quality time with the children throughout the year, which in turn helps make the adjustment from intact to separate units easier for everyone.  These arrangements, like most aspects of custody and parenting time, can be modified and customized in accordance with the best interests of the children and the parents’ needs. If you have questions about holiday parenting time and custody arrangements or scheduling, contact the family law specialists at Rotolo, Bozanian & Yi, LLC.

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