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Children at holiday time

Child Custody, Time-Sharing & the Holidays

Any parent wants to spend as much time as possible with their child, especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, a co-parenting situation necessitates sharing time with your child with someone who wants the same things you do.

Sharing time with your children during the holidays can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Arrangements laid out in your parenting plan can create agreeable schedules for sharing holidays and avoiding future conflict.

How You Can Split Time During the Holidays

There’s neither a single nor “wrong” way to split time with your child during the holidays. As long as you and your co-parent can agree to cooperate – and can do so – you can get as creative as you want. Just remember that celebrating a holiday with your child is an experience to treasure that doesn’t necessarily have to happen on the exact day of a holiday or even for the full day.

Assign Holidays to Each Parent

When you and your co-parent each care about spending certain holidays with your child over other holidays, you might want to consider assigning some to each of you. For example, you might care more about spending the Fourth of July with your child over New Year’s, so you and your co-parent can agree to assign these holidays in your parenting plan.

You can even make this type of arrangement for important religious holidays. If one parent is Christian, perhaps it’s important to them to spend Christmas and Easter with their child. If the other parent is Muslim, spending Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha with their child might matter more to them.

Alternate Holidays Each Year

When you and your co-parent feel stronger about sharing time on certain holidays, you might be able to agree on celebrating them with your child on an alternate basis. Some parents enjoy having their children for Thanksgiving one year and having them over for Christmas the following year.

Although this arrangement means missing out on certain holidays with your child each year, the flexibility of this schedule may allow you to make travel plans to visit other relatives you don’t often see.

Celebrate Each Holiday Twice

Depending on your religious convictions and the holiday itself, you don’t have to celebrate every holiday on the exact date it falls. If you celebrate Christmas in a more secular manner, it doesn’t have to matter whether you celebrate Christmas Day within a few days of its actual date. You can say the same for Thanksgiving, which can just be a big harvest feast you can enjoy with your child at any time during the fall.

This kind of arrangement doesn’t necessarily work for every holiday, though. People are only going to give out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, and you’ll probably only get to see fireworks on the night of the Fourth of July. For these types of holidays, an alternating schedule or assigning holidays to each parent might make more sense.

Are You Experiencing a Child Custody Dispute?

If you are involved in a child custody dispute and have concerns about spending time with your children, reach out to Beatriz Zyne, P.A. for legal assistance. Our representation can help you demonstrate the important role you play in your child’s life, especially during holidays that are important to you and their upbringing.

For more information and to request an initial consultation, contact Beatriz Zyne, P.A. online now.