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Developing a Holiday Schedule for Your Child(ren)

A holiday schedule for your child(ren) takes precedence over the usual custodial schedule and is in addition to the regular custody and visitation schedule. The setting of a holiday schedule is a common practice for Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Break, Thanksgiving and/or any religious and/or culturally significant special days, to name a few. Some considerations to pay
attention to include the following:

  • It is important for child(ren) to experience holidays with both parents and to develop holiday traditions with each parent and extended family as much as possible;
  • The parent spending a holiday away from home with a child can facilitate some contact between the other parent and the child, such as a telephone call or Skype on the holiday or special day;
  • Participating in holiday activities may mean that parents, regardless of their conflicts, work cooperatively in the best interests of their child(ren);
  • Holidays are extremely important to younger, school-aged children. Infants and toddlers may be unaware of the holiday and their presence at family gatherings may be more important to the adults. Older adolescents and teenagers may be less excited about the holidays than younger children and may be more interested in the continuing of the tradition or practice of the holiday plan.

Examples of ways to share the holidays include the following:

  • Divide: Both parents share the holiday or the holiday weekend(s) equally with each other and the child(ren); 
  • Alternate: One parent spends certain holidays with the children in even years, and the other parent spends the holidays with the children in odd years
  • Substitute: One parent has a specific holiday in exchange for another holiday with the other parent
  • Following Regular Schedule: Parents celebrate the specific holidays with their child(ren) during their regular parenting time. No holiday schedule is set.

If you need assistance developing an appropriate holiday schedule for your children, please contact our San Diego child custody attorneys today.

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