If you’re celebrating your first holiday season after a divorce, you may be wondering about the typical holiday schedule for divorced parents. The truth is: there is no typical schedule. Parents who share custody of their children often work together to create schedules that fit their needs and desires.

While sometimes the court will step in and create joint custody schedules if the parents can’t communicate and come to an agreement, it’s in the best interests for the parents to plan their own schedules in a mature manner. That way, both parents—and the kids—win. Plus, the kids are able to enjoy their holidays without fighting and added stress.

What type of holiday schedule should you create? Is it possible to split the time so both parents see the kids on holidays? Here are some ideas for creating a doable schedule that will benefit all involved.

Creating a Holiday Schedule

While there is no typical holiday schedule for divorced parents, there are a couple ways to go about it. For example, since many kids get two weeks off during the holiday season, many parents arrange it so they have the kids for one week and the other parent has the kids for the other week. For example, if seeing your kids on Christmas is important to both of you, you can arrange it so one parent has the children on Christmas Eve and the other parent has the kids on Christmas Day.

Some parents even alternate every other year. This means that one parent would have the children for the entire winter break this year, and the other parent would have custody during this time next year.

When creating a holiday schedule, try to be flexible. Remember that Christmas doesn’t have to come on December 25. You can celebrate Christmas with your children any day of the year. Your children will probably enjoy having two Christmases anyway.

Joint Custody Schedules: It’s All in the Planning

Don’t wait until the week before the holidays to start planning for the next few weeks. Work with the other parent to finalize a holiday schedule in November. This will eliminate your children’s anxiety, since they will know what to expect on Thanksgiving and during the winter holidays.

Try to get your holiday schedule in writing and printed in hard copy form so you can present it to your lawyer in case there is any disagreement among the parents. Even if you have discussed it orally with the other parent, get it writing with all the details hashed out. Things can get lost in translation and emails can sometimes get lengthy, so an agreement should have all the dates, schedules and details listed.

Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brooklyn

Divorce can be stressful during the holidays, especially when it comes to determining child custody schedules.  With flexibility and compromise, you and the other parent can create joint custody schedules that are fair for the parents and children involved. Brooklyn divorce attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ can help you with child custody issues following a divorce and help ensure everything goes smoothly during the holidays. Contact our office at (718) 233-2903 for a free consultation.

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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