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How are Holidays and Birthday Visitation Decided?

Posted on January 1st, 2024

Dealing with the ups and downs of shared custody can be a daunting task. The constant interaction with your ex and the need to keep track of parenting time can add to the inherent challenges of co-parenting. However, perhaps one of the most emotionally charged aspects is the prospect of not being able to share crucial moments with your children. Birthdays and holidays represent significant occasions for family bonding. How do you address and allocate these special days to ensure a balanced and harmonious co-parenting experience? Our experts at the Harris Family Law Group seek answers to this question.

Holiday Visitation for Childrens

Ways You Can Divide and Share Holiday Time

When it comes to dividing and sharing holiday time, there are various approaches that parents commonly adopt:

  • Alternate holidays every other year: Assign specific holidays to each parent on a rotating basis, alternating yearly. For instance, one parent might have Thanksgiving and New Year’s on even years, while the other has them on odd years. This way, neither parent misses out on celebrating with their child for more than a year in a row.
  • Split the holiday in half: Divide the holiday itself, ensuring your child spends part of the day with each parent. While this approach requires careful planning and coordination to avoid excessive travel time for your child, it allows both parents to share in the joy of the special day.
  • Schedule a holiday twice: Allocate separate time for each parent to celebrate the same holiday with the child. For example, one parent could celebrate Christmas with the child on the 20th of December and the other parent on the 25th. This flexibility accommodates individual family traditions and ensures both parents play a role in the festivities.
  • Assign fixed holidays: Opt for a setup where each parent consistently celebrates the same holidays with the child each year. This approach works well when parents have distinct holidays, they consider significant. By sticking to a fixed schedule, both parents can establish yearly traditions that contribute to the child’s sense of stability.

By combining or adapting these approaches, parents can create holiday arrangements that prioritize the child’s enjoyment of family traditions and guarantee quality time with both parents. Finding the right balance ensures a positive and stable environment for your child during the holiday season.

Common Holidays With Special Focus

Certain holidays require careful consideration due to both parents’ desire to spend time with the child. These holidays include:

  • Your child’s birthday: For your child’s birthday, consider arranging a brief visit for the parent who doesn’t have the child on that day. Alternatively, incorporate specific birthday times for both parents into the overall schedule. Another option is for the parents to take turns celebrating the child’s birthday, alternating roles each year.
  • Parents’ birthdays: On the parent’s birthday, allocate dedicated time for the child to spend with them.
  • 3-Day Weekends (e.g., Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day): During extended weekends, parents can take turns, ensuring each has an opportunity for quality time. Alternatively, split the weekends, allowing each parent to enjoy part of the extended break. You can assign the Monday holiday to the parent who already has the weekend.
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day: Traditionally, your child spends Mother’s Day with the mother and Father’s Day with the father.
  • Thanksgiving weekend: Options include one parent having Thanksgiving Day and the other having the weekend. Both parents can have designated time on Thanksgiving and during the weekend. Alternatively, parents can rotate, allowing each to have Thanksgiving and the accompanying weekend in alternate years.
  • The Christmas holiday season: Designate Christmas Eve to one parent and Christmas Day to the other. Alternatively, one parent can celebrate Christmas, and the other can enjoy winter break. Combine New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day into a single holiday, with parents taking turns each year.

How an Attorney Can Help

An experienced family law attorney can help in a number of ways. Firstly, they provide invaluable legal guidance, ensuring clients understand their rights and responsibilities. Attorneys adeptly negotiate and advocate for fair and favorable visitation arrangements, taking into account the best interests of the child.

Their expertise helps streamline the legal process, offering clarity and support during emotionally charged negotiations. Ultimately, having a skilled attorney by your side is instrumental in securing a visitation agreement that fosters a positive and stable environment for the child while safeguarding the parental rights of all parties involved.

Let Us Handle Your Legal Family Matters

Our skilled family law attorneys at the Harris Family Law Group are ready to help fight for your rights. Get in touch with us today via 310-745-8644 to take the first step towards a favorable outcome!