The holidays are a time for celebrating with your loved ones. These days of the year are meant to be full of joy and magic. However, for split families, holidays introduce the challenge of who gets custody during which holidays. As a family law practice in Orlando, we at Frank Family Law Practice have seen many custody battles over holidays and what those changes will bring for mom, dad, and the children. We recommend a few suggestions to help your split family handle custody and the holidays without all the stress.
Before you start each year, make a list of the holidays that are important to you. Compare this list with your ex to see where you have overlaps in important holidays. Be sure that you are consulting the calendar of pre-arranged custody days in order to make practical choices and keep your kids as consistent as possible. From there, you can begin to assemble a holiday schedule for your family.
One suggestion is to alternate holidays with each parent. Perhaps mom sees the kids at Christmas, and Dad sees them on Thanksgiving. This allows for time with both parents during a similar time of year. Maybe it works better for mom to have Christmas one year, and then Dad gets to celebrate Christmas the following year. Each year, the kids will be able to experience what that holiday feels like with each parent. Alternating holidays may seem lonely one year, but it can be a great compromise for parents who do not want to fully give up a specific holiday every single year.
In some fortunate cases, it may be possible to consider splitting the holidays. This means that children will see both their mom and their dad on a single holiday. They will not have to reserve an entire day with only one side of their family. This arrangement will typically only be successful when both parents live in close proximity, because otherwise much time would be wasted travelling on the holiday. Be sure to consider what is best for the children when thinking of logistics of how the day schedule would look.
Often times, parents celebrate the holiday on a different day than the scheduled holiday. This could make the children extremely excited, because then they have two Christmases, two Easters, or two birthdays. Celebrations are truly what you make of it, so if you aren't opposed to celebrating the holiday twice, this is viable option to making sure you don't have to sacrifice the time with your children each year.
Parents that desire a rigid routine for their children may opt to have fixed holidays that are assigned to each parent every single year. This means that the children will always be with mom on a particular day and then with dad on another. This can help to maintain consistency and routine in a kid's life, but it does require a constant yearly sacrifice.
By discussing a holiday schedule in advance, both parents and children will have time to prepare for them. Ultimately, parents should make a holiday schedule according to what is best for the children. When you are dealing with custody issues in your relationship with an ex, consult Frank Family Law Practice, a family law practice in Orlando, who offers expert counseling on how to handle custody and the holidays.