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Sharing child custody and juggling holidays is an issue for 12.9 million custodial parents across the US. Seeing that 90% of child custody agreements are made out-of-court by mutual agreement, you probably need guidance on how to best set up (or modify) your schedule, particularly around the holidays. We’ve put together some creative and innovative holiday custody tips and tricks we’ve seen from our own clients. If you want to discuss your situation, speak with a Sugar Land child custody lawyer today. 

Alternating Holidays in Child Custody Cases

A popular way to share holidays with custodial children is for mom to get the even years and for dad to get the odd years, but be sure to alternate. For example, dad might get even Thanksgivings and odd Christmases rather than dad getting even Thanksgivings and even Christmases (that would mean that in odd years, dad would not see his child for either of the two major holidays).

50/50 Custody Holiday Schedule

Yes, this is tedious, but if you don’t live too far from the other parent, this can be a great solution. In this scenario, the mom gets Thanksgiving before 3 pm and the dad gets Thanksgiving after 3 pm, for example. The Christmas holiday might be split like: Christmas Eve to Christmas morning at 10:00 am with mom and Christmas day after 10 am with dad. You don’t want your child’s memories of special holidays to be sitting on the freeway, so, be reasonable.

Double Up on Holidays

Some families have special holiday traditions that are a better fit for having two holidays, such as Mom’s Christmas is on December 24th and Dad’s Christmas is on December 25th. In this scenario, Santa might visit Mom’s house a day early, so the full Christmas experience happens twice instead of being split in half.

Consider Personal Traditions

If dad always takes the jet skis to the lake on the 4th of July and mom hates fireworks, there is no reason dad can’t get the 4th of July every year. On the other hand, if mom has a long-standing horseback riding trip into the mountains every Labor Day weekend and dad never travel this weekend, mom might have every Labor Day. Cultural traditions are also important to remember.

Spending Some Holidays Together

This is a great option to share the custody of a child,  it feels comfortable for everyone involved. Try to come together civilly at least for:

  1. Graduation ceremonies
  2. Recitals and performances
  3. Games, competitions, tournaments 

Remember that one day your child is likely to get married and will no doubt want both of you to be there without adding a bunch of stress to an already crazy day. You might as well start practicing being in the same room together now. If the two of you pass this test, you can look forward to getting invited to your grandchildren’s birthday parties and so on.

Don’t Forget to Plan for No-School Days

Although Presidents’ Day and Columbus Day might not be big family parties, they are days your child will be off school and available to go to the beach or park. Remember to plan for:

  1. Teacher in-service days (or parent-teacher conference days)
  2. Mother’s & Father’s Day
  3. Halloween
  4. Spring Break
  5. Your child’s birthday

Modify Your Child Custody with a Sugar Land Family Law Attorney Today

If your original child custody plan overlooked some of these nuances, you can modify your child custody arrangement. It is best to have it officially changed and approved by the court to avoid any issues. Contact Jamie Jordan, PLLC, today to set up a free consultation.