Managing the Holidays with your Child Custody Agreement

The holiday season often brings warm memories and bonding moments for families. It can also bring the stresses of interstate

The holiday season often brings warm memories and bonding moments for families. It can also bring the stresses of interstate or even international travel, accusations of favoritism, and feeling the need to fit meaningful visits with multiple family members into a short spurt of time. For newly-divorced parents and their children, these stresses can be easily magnified.

When you begin the process of determining your parenting schedule, discuss how you want handle the holidays with your spouse and your attorney. You can include requirements for the holidays in your parenting time order that allow for you and your spouse to each have sufficient time with your children for the holidays and build your own traditions with them. For further guidance with this and other issues that can crop up when dealing with family law issues, contact an experienced Florida family law attorney.

Every Family has Unique Needs

And these needs will come into consideration when you plan how your children will spend the holidays after your divorce. For example, divorcing couples of different faiths often have their children celebrate both parents’ religious holidays with them. Other specific holidays that parents might want to have written into their parenting plan orders are specific cultural holidays, parent and other family members’ birthdays, and parent-specific holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

In situations where both parents celebrate the same holiday, many opt to either alternate or share the holidays. Whether it makes more sense to alternate or to share a holiday depends largely on how close the parents live to each other and the logistics of getting their children to both households without sacrificing the day to traffic or unreasonable travel times.

Alternating vs. Sharing Holidays

In cases where parents opt to alternate holidays, this is often handled by writing up an agreement where one parent spends specific holidays with the children on even-numbered years while the other parent spends those holidays with the children on odd-numbered years. For example, a child might spend Thanksgiving with Mom and Christmas with Dad in 2015, then Thanksgiving with Dad and Christmas with Mom in 2016.

For families who choose to share holidays, the court often imposes specific time frames for each parent. An example of this is one parent having the children for Christmas morning, then sending them to the other parent’s house for the afternoon and evening, then following this arrangement in reverse the following year and alternating between these arrangements for the years to come.

Work with a Winter Park Child Custody Attorney

As a parent going through a divorce or considering ending your marriage in the near future, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Winter Park family attorney. Contact Sperling Ducker today at 407-645-3297 to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We can answer any question you have about divorcing and handling family issues in Florida and provide you with the guidance you need as you navigate them.