Can Visitation be Adjusted During the Holidays?

Mother and son hugging on the couch

With the holidays only a few weeks away, many newly divorced parents may be left wondering if they’ll be able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with their children, especially if the holiday falls on the other parent’s week. Fortunately, a holiday schedule takes precedence over the regular, weekly schedule.

Courts in North Carolina are typically inclined to award parents with joint physical custody, meaning their child will spend a significant amount of time with both parents. That being said, “significant amount of time” doesn’t mean an exact 50/50 split. Most often, a child will live with one parent, so they can maintain a regular school schedule, and visit with the other parent.

Creating a Holiday Visitation Schedule

In North and South Carolina, divorced parents of children under 18 must create a visitation schedule that outlines when a child will spend time with each parent — this is just one part of your overall parenting plan.

Ideally, a holiday or special occasion (such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc.) visitation schedule would be included in the original details of your arrangement. However, it is possible to adjust your schedule if you realize it no longer suits your family’s needs.

When it comes to creating a holiday schedule, both parents must understand that they will have to make compromises and ultimately do what’s in the best interest of their child. Typically, parents decide to alternate holidays each year or split the day in half, with their child spending the morning at one house and the night at another.

Remember that the best holiday schedules are incredibly detailed. When creating a holiday schedule, be sure to think about and include:

  • The specific dates of a holiday.
  • Who will be picking up or dropping off the child.
  • Which holidays coincide with school breaks.
  • If the child can be removed from school for vacation.
  • If your child is getting older, they may have their own plans during breaks and holidays.

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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