What Should Be Outlined in a Holiday Custody Schedule?

Father and son decorating Christmas tree

A holiday schedule, sometimes called a “holiday visitation schedule,” dictates who younger children will spend holidays and other important celebrations with. Because a holiday agreement takes precedence over your traditional weekday schedule, the goal is to ensure children spend time and make memories with both parents, regardless of when holidays fall in the week.

Creating a Schedule for Holiday Child Visitation

A list of holidays and celebrations that are important to you and your family.

When you create a holiday schedule, it’s important to think beyond traditional holidays, like Thanksgiving and Easter. In addition to national or religious holidays, make sure to also include celebrations unique to your family, like birthdays, anniversaries, school breaks, and other important dates.

Where your kids will be for each holiday.

The best custody agreement is one that works for your family. When it comes to creating a holiday schedule, think about what would realistically work for your children. Some of the most common agreements are:

  • Split the day in half, spending morning with mom and night with dad (or vice versa).
  • Alternate holidays based on odd and even years.
  • Split holidays that span several days in half. For example, spending Christmas eve at mom’s house and Christmas at dad’s house, or splitting Hanukkah in half.

Pickup and drop off times for each holiday.

Especially if you and your ex are not on very good terms, it’s so important to be as detailed as possible when creating a custody agreement — Christmas morning may be 6a.m. to you but 10a.m. to your ex.

Once you and your former partner have decided where the kids will be on each day, you should include pickup and drop off times to avoid any confusion.

What happens if a holiday-visit is missed due to extenuating circumstances?

Unfortunately, life sometimes gets in the way of your plans — illness, an emergency, or a change in your work schedule can all affect your holiday visitation schedule. While these can’t be perfectly planned for, you should include some provisions within your schedule that outline what should happen if your child can’t be with you for a holiday.

At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issue. Our  lawyers provide tailored legal services with a unique, team-based approach to do our best to achieve these results.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our lawyers online or give us a call at (704) 286-0570.

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