Holiday Custody Arrangements for Divorcing Parents

Family courts become busier around the holidays due to disputes regarding which parent the children spend time with during the season. To avoid circular arguments about promised holiday custody agreements, it is best to get both parents to agree on an arrangement in writing.

Holiday parenting negotiations often involve agreements in which the children may spend Thanksgiving with one parent and Christmas with the other, then alternate the following year. Alternating year arrangements also make it possible for one parent to spend Christmas Eve with the children and another Christmas Day. Split time arrangements are viable for parents who maintain strong communication with each other. These agreements allow children to enjoy the holiday with both parents and are ideal for parents who live close to each other.

Some parents choose to change the date on which they celebrate a holiday. While most parents want to spend the specific day of a holiday with their children, custody arrangements  where one parent celebrates the holiday before or after its official date are often successful. Flexibility makes it easier to avoid frustration over holiday visitation rights. Negotiation of any parenting plan requires a willingness to compromise.

Child custody is a difficult legal matter for most parents at any time of year, but the holidays often present special challenges. Drafting a custody agreement that is fair and takes the interests of the child into account. Obtaining a holiday custody arrangement in writing can help prevent disputes in the future.


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