Parents should strive to work together in creating a parenting-time schedule for the holidays that prioritizes the children’s best interests. They can, for instance, come up with a plan that allows them to share school vacations or alternate holidays every other year. They can also agree to divide some holidays in half, and where possible, designate fixed holidays to either party.
Parents should uphold the well-being of their children when creating a visitation plan for the holidays. If one parent wishes to amend the holiday parenting-time schedule, he or she should work closely with a family law attorney to ensure that the amendments follow the due process.
Developing an Effective Parenting Time Schedule for the Holidays
Alternating Holidays on Even or Odd Years
Parents can opt for a visitation plan that allows one party to spend holiday time with the child on even years while the other on odd years. This plan eliminates instances of a parent going for two consecutive years without spending a holiday with his or her child.
Sharing School Vacations
This parenting-time plan allows one parent to spend the first half of the school vacation with his or her child. The other parent then takes the child for the remaining time. A normal visitation plan resumes once a child returns to school.
Dividing a Holiday in Half
A parent may desire to spend time with his or her child on the same day the other parent is scheduled to be with the child. With this arrangement, parents may choose to divide the day of the holiday, allowing the child to spend a part of the day with each parent.
Assigning Fixed Holidays
This plan allows each parent to spend time with the child on the same holidays every year. Parents sometimes have different holidays that are dear to them where they greatly desire to spend holiday time with their child. This plan allows parents to take holidays that are important to each party. It’s also one of the ways to protect a child from the effects of divorce.
Amending a Parenting-Time Plan
If one parent wishes to amend an existing holiday visitation schedule, he or she should inform the other party in writing. A family law attorney can guide that parent through the process of making changes to the parenting plan that are acceptable to both parties.