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Don't wait to get holiday child custody schedule in order


While some people in Centennial may feel irked to see Christmas decorations for sale in stores before Halloween is even over, for better or worse, the winter holidays will be here before we know it. The holidays always bring with them a certain amount of stress, and this can be especially true if a couple with children has divorced. In fact, divorced parents may be well served to establish a holiday child custody schedule (or review an existing one) sooner, rather than later, to avoid unexpected surprises and conflict.

When it comes to negotiating a holiday child custody schedule, difficulties can arise due to the fact that, for the most part, both parents want to spend every holiday with their child. While this is understandable, the fact of the matter is that in most situations, they will have to share the holidays (and their child's time) with their ex.

For example, some couples may choose to alternate years. For example, the child will spend Thanksgiving 2017 with one parent, then Thanksgiving 2018 with the other parent, et cetera. Some couples, on the other hand, choose to split time. This means that the child will spend some of each holiday with each parent. So, one parent may have the child Christmas morning and the other parent will have the child Christmas afternoon. However, this is usually only feasible if the parents live within close proximity of each other and are able to cooperate. Finally, keep in mind that, in the end, the dates on the calendars are just numbers. Parents who do not have custody of their child on Christmas Eve can have their own special Christmas celebration with their child when they do have custody the weekend before or the weekend after.

In the end, like any child custody decisions, establishing a holiday custody schedule should be done with the best interests of the child in mind. By putting the child's needs first, arrangements can be made in a way that benefits all involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Holidays, Divorce and Who Gets The Children?," Jason Levoy, Dec. 23, 2016

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