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3 Ways To Share Custody Over the Holidays

Most people look forward to spending the holidays relaxing and celebrating with their families and friends. However, if you share child custody with your ex, you might be thinking about the holiday season with concern and frustration. Splitting time with your children is never easy, but it can be particularly challenging in November and December when the holidays are in full swing, especially if you and your ex celebrate the same holidays. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and all of the family gatherings and parties, it can be extremely challenging to create a plan that works for your holiday calendar. Most parents go through several holiday schedules before they find something that works for them, so make sure you know what types of plans are available to you.

In order to make the most of the time you get with your children this holiday season, try working with your co-parent to establish an effective parenting plan that works for you and your kids. If you need to find a plan that works for you, try one of these effective holiday scheduling techniques:

1. Planning for the Long-Term

For some parents, it might work best to avoid dealing with complicated splits each holiday season. Instead, you could try planning for the long-term by alternating parenting time on an annual basis. In other words, one parent gets the children for this holiday season, and the other parent gets the kids next year.

This type of plan usually works best for parents who live further away from one another and want to avoid making their kids travel more than necessary. With a plan like this, the children might spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s with one parent this year, and the other parent next year. If you do select a plan like this, you can always celebrate Christmas beforehand, that way you still get to spend quality time with your children during the holiday season.

2. Trading Off

If you don’t want to spend several holidays apart from your child in a row, maybe you and your co-parent can schedule a trade-off during each season. For example, this year Parent 1 spends Christmas with the children, but Parent 2 gets to spend New Year’s Eve with them. Or, if Thanksgiving, Hanukah, or another holiday is more important to you, you might trade off those days instead.

3. Share Your Time

When parents live in close proximity to one another, sharing time on each holiday might be a feasible option. You might not want to lose out on any big holidays with your child, and your ex might feel the same way. If that’s the case, you can consider whether or not you might be able to split each holiday. For example, on Thanksgiving, your children could enjoy an early dinner with you before spending the remaining portion of the evening with their other parent.

There are countless ways parents can split time with their children over the holidays, but the most important thing to remember is that there is no single plan that works for everyone. If you need help establishing a legally-binding parenting plan, or if your ex isn’t cooperating with your existing plans, make sure you discuss the issue with your attorney.

Contact Singleton Smith Law Offices, Inc. to schedule an appointment with our Murrieta divorce attorneys.