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Holiday Visitation Schedules


For many people, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones and celebrating family traditions. As joyful as these times can be, they also involve a substantial amount of stress, especially for parents who share custody of their children. However, by making efforts to plan a schedule ahead of time, families may be able to avoid contention and disagreement over holiday visitation, so if you have questions about your parenting agreement, please contact a child custody attorney who can help you come up with a solution that is in the best interests of both you and your child.

Creating a Holiday Schedule  

In many cases, a parenting plan will include stipulations on holiday schedules and reviewing these terms ahead of time can go a long way towards avoiding scheduling conflicts. In the event that the schedule is unworkable for one or both parties, the parents can even negotiate and come to an alternative arrangement. While these are usually private agreements, either party can seek to formalize the new agreement in court if they choose.

Keeping children informed about where and when they will spend the holidays is also encouraged, as failing to do so can leave children feeling left out of the loop. Parents are also encouraged to keep an open mind when it comes to sharing custody over the holidays. For instance, many families start a new tradition of celebrating holidays outside of the officially recognized date. In many cases, this allows children to spend quality time with both of their parents during the holiday season.

Schedule Options  

One of the most common holiday time sharing schedules involves alternating custody between the parents each year. For example, a child’s mother may get to spend the Christmas holiday with him or her in even years, while the father would have visitation in odd years. Similarly, the child’s mother may have custody of the child for Thanksgiving in odd years, while the father would have visitation in even years.

Splitting up a longer holiday break is also a good option when the break in question is longer than a few days. For instance, many parents choose to split up the winter vacation, which is usually around two weeks, between each parent. Parents who choose to take this route also often agree to alternate weeks, so that the child can celebrate with each parent on the actual holiday every other year.

Alternatively, some families choose to split up the day of the holiday itself, so one parent would have the child for Christmas morning and afternoon, while the other parent could spend time with the child in the evening and nighttime hours. Regardless of which schedule a family chooses, the arrangement that they come up with should be tailored to address their specific circumstances. Parents who live far away from each other, for example, will probably want to avoid splitting up the holiday itself, while family members who celebrate religious traditions may feel more strongly about having custody on a certain day.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Timesharing Attorney  

If you have been unable to come to a custody arrangement for the holidays, please contact compassionate and experienced Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to discuss your questions and concerns. We are eager to assist you with your case.



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