Divorcing parents need to spend the time necessary to develop a comprehensive parenting plan that takes numerous factors into consideration. Unfortunately, they are often in a rush to simply get through the process and start their independent futures. It is important, however, to consider complicated issues and examine which option might be best for the future of all parties.
Even though every family situation is unique, there are four common options that divorcing parents can explore when deciding the best holiday schedule for their needs:
- Alternate holidays year over year: Some parents decide it is easiest to simply alternate the holidays each year. For example, on even years the child spends Christmas with mom and during odd years the child spends the holiday with dad.
- Dividing the holiday in half: The parents, based on their proximity, might decide to split the holiday in half. This can mean splitting it based on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day or Christmas morning and Christmas evening, for example.
- Celebrate the holiday twice: This can take some planning and preparation, but some divorced parents choose to celebrate the major holidays twice. For example, Christmas can be celebrated at both households one week apart.
- Holidays with fixed assignments: Based on the negotiations, parents might approach different holidays with different importance. A birthday, for example, might hold greater significance to one parent than the other. The parenting plan, then, is the perfect time to decide where the child spends his or her time.
While the divorce process might be stressful, it is wise to consider options that could reduce future disagreements. Do not hesitate to work with a skilled legal professional who can provide guidance in drafting or revising a holiday parenting time schedule.