The holiday season is fast approaching and can be one of the most stressful times of the year for parents who share custody of their children. Following these tips can help take the pressure off so that you can make the most of the holidays with as few hassles as possible.
- Plan ahead
Parents who work together to plan the holiday schedule in advance have a much easier time handling the inevitable chaos that comes at this time of year. This means that parents should sit down together sometime during the late summer to discuss which parent will have visitation and when. If you and your children know what to expect a few months in advance, there will be fewer surprises for everyone involved.
It can’t be said enough that compromise is crucial when it comes to holiday planning. Circumstances are bound to change year after year – sometimes you’re traveling to visit relatives; sometimes the relatives come to you. Traditions may also be different at each parent’s house and holidays may fall on days that are special in another way. You may also want your children with you on a certain holiday every year.
Again, we recommend sitting down together to discuss and agree upon the schedule. Compromise is key! One possible solution is to rotate the schedule each year. For example, in odd years (2011, 2013, etc.) Mom will have the children on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day, and Dad will have them on Halloween, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Then, in even years (2012, 2014, etc.), the schedule will switch and Dad will have the kids on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day, and Mom will have the opposite of what she had last year. Or, if one parent celebrates Hanukkah and the other celebrates Christmas, plan to have your children spend each holiday with the parent who celebrates it.
If you need help with your child custody situation, please call Howard & Fei, LLP at 510.464.8083 for a consultation on your case.