Creating a child custody holiday schedule for your parenting plan that everyone is comfortable with is a difficult task. It helps to sit down and speak with your lawyer about holiday schedules that have worked for other families. Perusing parenting plans other families have used will give you a good starting point for creating one for yours.
Start with a List of the Holidays
Not every family creates the same type of custody holiday schedule. Lots of factors need to be taken into consideration:
- each parent’s work schedule;
- the kids’ school schedules;
- the distance between the two households; and
- the availability of traveling funds.
Most child custody schedules stipulate that the kids will always be with Mom on Mother’s Day and Dad on Father’s Day. Likewise, you can write in the schedule that the kids can be with you for your birthday weekend (if practical) and with your ex on his or her birthday.
It’s important that the schedules don’t interfere with the kids’ district school schedules, and that they are happy with the plan as well. The bottom line is that all efforts should be made to write a parenting plan schedule that’s both practical and workable for everyone.
Choosing Your Battles Carefully
You’ll need to decide from the start what holidays are most important to you. You can’t fight for them all.
Here are a few tips on creating a holiday schedule for your family:
- Consider what’s important. If you adore Halloween and your ex loves going all-out on the Fourth of July by attending events like the Plano Independence Day Parade, then should pencil in the visiting schedules accordingly.
- Don’t fight for the sake of fighting. Likewise, avoid the temptation to fight for certain holidays simply to “win,” particularly when it’s not really feasible for you. For instance, if you always have to work on New Year’s Eve late into the night, that’s likely not a holiday you want to have scheduled at your house.
- Alternating schedules work well. Many parents use an alternating schedule with great success. For instance, Dad might have the kids for Christmas break on odd numbered years, while Mom has them for even numbered years. For families in which the parents live nearby, Dad might have the kids for Christmas Eve one year and Mom will have them for Christmas Day, and then they’ll alternate the schedule the following year.
Focus on the Big Picture
Having to face the fact that you won’t be able to spend every single holiday with your children anymore can be depressing. You might not want to give up that special time with your kids, but try to keep in mind that your kids deserve the chance to create new holiday memories with your ex, just as much as they have that right with you.
Try to focus on the fact that you are building a new life for both you and your children. You might not be able to spend holiday time like you have in the past but just because it’s going to be different, doesn’t mean it’s going to be negative.
Our Firm Can Help with Your Parenting Plan Schedule
Do you have more questions pertaining to divorce or child custody? Check out our free divorce eBook. Contact Warren & Migliaccio to discuss your case in person. We serve clients in Plano and surrounding areas. Call (888) 584-9614 to set up an appointment.