The holidays are a festive and happy time, but with all the added pressure and responsibility, they can often be stressful for families. If you have to deal with custody and visitation issues, that can only add to the stress you are facing. In order to avoid holiday frustration or disappointment, plan your holiday visitation schedule early and with sufficient details.
Decide What Holidays Are Important
Take some time to reflect upon what holidays are most important to you. Some families enjoy having big summer barbeques, while others relish in all the fun of Halloween. When parents are divorced, you will need to compromise. So identify what holidays you really want to enjoy with your children.
Prepare Your Holiday Schedule
Not only will early planning help relieve stress for you, but your children are likely to be more excited about the festivities if they know exactly where they will be going. You may want to begin by having an informal discussion with your ex-spouse, but once you make plans, it is important to document your plans in writing. You may want to use a shared Google Calendar or other similar app so that other family members can log in and know exactly where everyone will be and when. When preparing your child’s schedule, you may want to consider what their previous holidays have been like, and any family traditions that you have and want to preserve.
Some common arrangements for dividing holiday time include:
- Alternating holidays every other year
- Splitting the holiday in half, so your child can spend half the day with each parent. This requires that both parents live within close proximity to one another.
- Scheduling a holiday twice so each parent can have a whole day with the children to themselves. For example, Christmas can be split into Christmas Eve and Christmas day and Hanukah can be split into four days.
- Assign fixed rotating yearly holidays. When each parent values a particular holiday, for example if a mother loves Thanksgiving and the father loves Christmas or Hanukah, they can agree to host their favorite holiday each year, and make the tradeoff.
Seeking Legal Counsel in the Event of a Disagreement
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse regarding parenting schedules, contact an experienced family lawyer with extensive experience assisting with negotiations. Should negotiation fail, they can apply to have the situation resolved through the legal system. It is important for everyone involved to put differences aside during the holidays, and focus on the best interests of the children.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Families Divide Parenting Time During the Holidays
If you need assistance negotiating a holiday visitation schedule, the experienced Towson child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help. To discuss your situation, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online today. With offices located in Hunt Valley, Pikesville, and Towson, we serve clients in Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County, and Howard County, including Towson, Essex, Columbia, and Bel Air.