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Can Visitation be Adjusted During the Holidays?

With the holidays approaching, newly divorce parents are left wondering if they can spend Halloween, Thanksgiving, and/or Christmas with their children this year if a holiday falls on the other parent’s week. Fortunately, a holiday schedule trumps a regular parenting schedule. But what if you want to adjust your visitation schedule during the holidays? Today, we review your options for all things related to visitation and the holidays.

To get started, let us look at the holiday visitation schedules you and your ex-spouse can choose from.

Holiday Visitation Schedule

When parents go through a divorce, one of the steps is to craft a parenting plan that makes sense to them both. When it comes to the holidays, parents typically elect one of the following three options when considering visitation and a time-sharing plan:

  • The regular time-sharing schedule will apply even during the holidays
  • The holiday visitation schedule will be established by the parents with no set schedule in place
  • The holiday schedule will be set out and created with defined start and end times

The third option appears to be the most ideal as the other two might not work out – depending on the relationship between the ex-spouses. The first option could be problematic if one parent gets to spend time with the child every Thanksgiving for years. That is not fair to the other parent. The second option poses an issue as in the event the parents cannot agree on a holiday schedule, an agreement will never be reached. This could cause a tense situation for all involved around the holidays.

Creating & Modifying a Holiday Visitation Schedule

Ideally, a holiday or other special occasion (includes a birthday or graduation) would be included in your visitation schedule created while you were getting divorced. However, it is possible that this was not discussed while creating your divorce arrangement. In this case, you would need to establish these new details and include them in an arrangement. If you had a holiday arrangement and it no longer suits your family, you can adjust it to fit into your new schedule. It is important to remember to think of your child’s best interests when doing so and seek legal assistance if needed.

You might have to make compromises such as splitting holiday time with your ex-spouse. Fortunately, this is achievable and plenty of families share holiday time with their ex-spouses. It is common for parents to alternate holidays each year as well, but this is entirely up to you.

What to Keep in Mind When Creating a Holiday Visitation Schedule

The more detailed your holiday schedule, the smoother the holidays will go (or so we hope). Here are some considerations to think about when creating a holiday visitation schedule:

  • Providing ample notice to the child’s school if requesting vacation time
  • Who will pick the child up and drop the child off
  • Which holidays coincide with school breaks
  • If your ex-spouse would be willing to partake in holiday festivities with you
  • If your ex-spouse is open to splitting days (such as Christmas day)
  • If the child has his/her own plans for the holidays

Book a Consultation with Our Firm Today

At Bauer Law Group, P.A. we are passionate about helping families achieve their goals. If you have questions about how to establish or modify visitation during the holidays, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We will do our best to help you reach an amicable resolution.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our family law attorneys online or give us a call at (352) 310-8169.