Allocation of parental responsibilities during the holidays

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Family Law

As a newly divorced parent of minor children, the holidays can be a tricky time for you and your offspring. Regardless of the event, there are likely many memories and traditions tied to the time.

In these already often stress-filled times, it can be difficult for children to adjust to their changed circumstances. It is important to plan out and coordinate holidays with your co-parent in advance to help lessen some of the stress.

What does the law say?

The allocation of parental responsibilities during holidays is something the judges often prefer for parents to work out themselves. A typical situation is that the holiday goes to you if it is your parenting time.

What are other ways to handle the holidays?

One way to schedule these holidays is to alternate the years. For example, you have the children on Christmas, and your ex-spouse has them on New Year’s one year, and you swap the next year. Alternatively, you could coordinate so that each of you spends half of the holiday with the children. One parent gets the morning and the other the evening.

What is the most important consideration?

The most important factor in devising a holiday schedule is the children’s best interests. Ask them what they want and then negotiate with your co-parent. Whatever you decide, you and your ex must be in complete agreement and must not argue in front of the children as this may cause them further stress.

While the holidays may be part of your allocation of parental responsibilities agreement, judges often expect you to use your own discretion. Planning with a mind to what your children want and reaching a peaceful solution can help them as they come to terms with the new way of celebrating holidays.