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Holiday Child Visitation Guide: How to Reduce the Child Custody Stress of the Season

Holidays are meant to be joyful for the whole family. However, the holidays can be stressful for divorced and separated parents and their children who must deal with visitation issues.

Between parents and extended families, the holidays can be tough, taxing, and traumatic for everyone involved with children of divorce or separation. It doesn’t have to be.

Many holiday planners (and Martha Stewart followers) know that a well-organized holiday schedule can be the best way for families to enjoy the celebrations. That especially applies to divorced and separated parents.

When holiday child visitation schedules are planned out in advance, it allows both parents and extended families time to plan their calendars around access to the children.

Below we’ll share tips on how divorced and separated parents can help make child custody holiday visitations less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Before we begin, please don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of a Family Law Attorney to address any concerns you might have regarding child custody or time-sharing schedules. Feel free to call us at (904) 567-3113 to discuss your situation.

Which Holidays Should You Plan Child Visitations?

The year is full of festive holidays and events that divorced parents may want to schedule child visitations.

The End-of-Year Holiday Season

  • Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Day Weekend
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Day

Three-Day Weekend Holidays

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Days
  • Veterans’ Day

Other Holidays to Schedule

  • Easter
  • Halloween

Special Recognition Days

  • Father’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Child’s Birthday
  • Each Parent’s Birthday

Ways to Schedule Holiday Child Visitations

With some flexibility and compromises, parents can help make the holidays special and memorable for their children and less stressful for the adults.

Plan in Advance

The key to any successful schedule is to plan well in advance. Make a list of all the holidays and festivities throughout the year and come to agreements on how to divide time with your children.

Alternate Holidays Every Other Year

Assign holiday child visitations on an every other year schedule. For example, this year children spend Thanksgiving Day with one parent and next Thanksgiving Day with the other. You could tie even and odd years to the visitation schedule.

Split the Holiday

With some coordination and flexibilities, divorced and separated parents can split the holiday in half.

  • Holiday mornings with mom
  • Holiday afternoon with dad.

Make it a Twice Holiday Celebration

Schedule celebrations on two different days. For example:

  • Children spend Thanksgiving Day with one parent
  • Children spend the day after Thanksgiving with the other parent

Our Best Holiday Child Visitation Advice: Keep Your Child’s Joy Top of Mind

Childhood memories of holiday celebrations should be ones of joy and happiness.

That can happen if both parents work together to schedule child visitations during the holidays.

Consider Using a Co-parenting Calendar App

Communication between divorced and separated parents may be challenging at times. That’s why it might be a good idea to use an online and shared family calendar to help keep everyone organized.

We’ve found that Our Family Wizard works well with many families. The online service helps people manage shared parenting and joint custody challenges. Their app is available for iPhone, Android, KindleFire and Blackberry devices.

Involve a Family Law Attorney if Necessary to Resolve Holiday Child Custody and Visitation Issues

We understand that relationships between divorced and separated parents aren’t always amicable, which can impact creating a harmonious holiday schedule. Unfortunately, children pay a significant price in those situations.

Enlisting the guidance of a Family Law Attorney can help resolve disputes regarding children custody visitation issues you might be dealing with, including:

  • Time Sharing Arrangements
  • Out of Area Holiday Travel
  • Increased Child Support Holiday Expenses

If you’re concerned by child custody or time-sharing issues or overall child support concerns, a Family Law Attorney  from the Fusco Law Group can help. Call the Fusco Law Group: (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.