How to Set Up a Holiday Visitation Schedule for Joint Custody

How to Set Up a Holiday Visitation Schedule for Joint Custody

If you’re like many parents going through divorce, your primary concern is your kids – and now that the holidays are right around the corner, you’re thinking about how to put together a holiday visitation schedule for joint custody. The good news is that your Stockton divorce attorney will help you come up with a parenting time schedule that works for your whole family, and if you have questions or need help, she’s just a phone call away.

But how should you structure your holiday visitation schedule for joint custody? Many parents use these strategies.

How to Set Up a Holiday Visitation Schedule for Joint Custody

In many divorce cases, parents set up a holiday visitation schedule to work within their original joint custody agreement. There are several ways to do it, and the only “right” way is the way that works best for your family. Talk to your attorney about these ideas if they’d work for you and your children:

  • Alternating holidays every other year
  • Assigning holidays to each parent
  • Scheduling holidays twice
  • Splitting holidays in half

Alternating Holidays Every Other Year

Alternating holidays every other year is one of the most common arrangements parents make. That means one parent gets every other holiday during even years, and the other parent gets those holidays during odd years. Here’s an example.

Even Years

During even years, Parent 1 gets:

  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Christmas

During even years, Parent 2 gets:

  • Easter
  • Independence Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day

Odd Years

During odd years, Parent 1 gets:

  • Easter
  • Independence Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day

During odd years, Parent 2 gets:

  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Christmas

You can alternate your child’s birthday, too, and make concessions for each parent to spend time with him or her on the parent’s birthday, as well.

Assigning Holidays to Each Parent

Some parents are better able to deal with assigned holidays. Sometimes this is helpful when the kids only have one set of grandparents, when travel around certain holidays is tough, or when one parent typically has to work over certain holidays and doesn’t get any time off. You might structure your holiday visitation schedule like this.

Parent 1 always has:

  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Christmas

Parent 2 always has:

  • Easter
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Veterans Day
  • New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day

Scheduling Holidays Twice

Some families find that it’s easier to celebrate big holidays, like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, by scheduling them twice. The kids will get two of each (more gifts and more pie, right?!) so that each parent can spend that special time with the kids every year. Perhaps Parent 1 celebrates Christmas on December 20 with the kids, while the other celebrates it on December 25.

Splitting Holidays in Half

Many parents share big holidays. Parent 1 gets the kids the evening before and the morning of the holiday, and Parent 2 gets the kids in the afternoon of the holiday and keeps them through the evening. You can split some holidays and not others, or you can split them all – whatever works best for your children.

Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer About a Holiday Visitation Schedule for Joint Custody?

If you’re thinking about divorce, of if your ex has already filed, we can help you.

Call us at (209) 989-4425 or get in touch with us online to talk to a lawyer who can help today. We’ll help you with every aspect of your divorce, from child custody and child support to alimony and property division. We can also refer you to a divorce therapist who can help you work through the emotions you’re experiencing and begin setting boundaries with your ex.