How to Craft a Great Holiday Visitation Schedule
In coming up with a schedule for how to share time with your children over the holidays, don’t assume that there is a rubber stamp to be applied to the situation. Many attorneys fall into the habit of pushing the same holiday schedule over and over and applying it to vastly different families. A custody schedule should be unique in all ways so that it can truly be what is best for your family, not someone else’s. Here are some things to consider in discussing a holiday schedule:
- Travel: Does your extended family live several hours away? Do you traditionally travel to your parents’ home every Thanksgiving? If you want to be able to travel with your child for the holidays, this is something that will have a big impact on how the holidays are shared.
- Traditions: Perhaps something that is really special to you and your children is attending midnight mass at church on Christmas Eve, and that is something you wish to continue. This could be factored in to your holiday schedule so that you have that time with your children each year. Or perhaps that is something both you and the other parent would like to continue doing with your children- consider continuing to share that occasion with your children, even though you are no longer living together. It is important for your children to see that their parents can put their differences aside and do things together. It also sets a strong example for your children.
- School calendar: Each district is different and looking at the school schedule and plotting out the schedule you are considering on a calendar will help you understand what it will really look like in real life. Also, keep in mind that both parents probably want to maximize their time with the children when they are out of school, so look for opportunities to do that (i.e., teacher work days, etc.).
If you plan ahead and really give it some thought, you can craft a holiday schedule that will ensure your children get to continue doing the special things they love at the holidays with each of their parents.