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Plan for Holidays when Creating a Parenting Schedule

Law Office of Kari Holm Fawcett

Holidays throughout the year are special times for parents and children to enjoy making memories. Some of these are associated with beloved traditions, such as looking at holiday lights or having a large barbecue.

Determining the parenting schedule is often challenging for parents who are ending a romantic relationship. The holidays, including the child’s birthday, are usually significant areas of contention.

Consider Alternating Holidays

One option that you have is to alternate holidays. For example, one parent can have the child for Thanksgiving on odd-numbered years and Christmas on even-numbered years. The other parent would have them in the opposite years. If you opt to use this method, be sure that all holidays are covered so that there’s never any opportunity for confusion.

Factor in Family Celebrations

The top priority when creating the schedule must be the children, so you need to determine if there are family celebrations that should be considered. For example, if one person’s family always celebrates Easter but the other person’s family doesn’t, the child may want to spend Easter with the family that celebrates.

Ponder Joint Celebrations

If you and your ex get along well, consider having joint celebrations for the children. This might be especially helpful when you’re trying to figure out birthdays. Your child might feel special on their birthday if they have both parents with them. Setting rules about respect and behavior at these joint events can help to keep the peace so everyone can enjoy the day.

Establish New Traditions

The traditions you had while you were with the child’s other parent might not work now. Set new traditions with your children. These can become beloved activities that they eagerly look forward to each year. They don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Something as simple as watching “Happy Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown” on Valentine’s Day while you eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate can make unforgettable memories.

Ensure the parenting schedule is accurately noted in the custody documents. This helps to keep everyone on the same page. Working with someone familiar with these cases may help you to find creative solutions to issues unique to your situation.