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How to Split Custody During the Holidays and Other Important Events


Shared custody can be challenging. There may be moments when one or both parents need to compromise for the best interest of their children.

Holidays can stir up family matters, especially when it comes to divorced or separated parents. Children make important memories during the holidays and it’s important to make them feel safe and content during these events. That is why a custody and visitation schedule is paramount.

There are two ways in which parents can get to a settled custody plan for the holidays: either they negotiate outside of the court and reach a settlement, or they follow the instructions given by the court.

Settling the Holiday Dates

First of all, you and the other parent should establish which are the exact dates to be considered a holiday. These will include Christmas, New Year, Easter, Halloween, and other legal holidays, but also the holidays you take off work.

Alternating the Holidays

The most common arrangement for divorced or separated parents is to take turns on who spends a particular holiday with the children, alternating them every year. This way, every parent will get full time with the children every other year. The list of holidays to be rotated should be established, and detailed information about the holiday plans should be laid ahead of time.

Sharing the Holidays

Another standard solution is to share the holidays. This is especially convenient for parents who still live relatively close to each other, as it makes the transfer possible without cutting too much time out of the actual holiday celebrations. A shared holiday custody schedule will include details about who spends the morning with the children, who get them in the evening, when and where the transfer will be made, and by whom, etc.

Traveling for the Holidays

Many families choose to travel during holidays to celebrate, whether they are visiting family or just want to explore other places. If you’re going to take your children on such travels, make sure that the other parent is aware of it and that out-of-state travel is allowed in your custody plan. Always remember that any program you make should be compatible with the terms of your custody plan. Otherwise, it will be seen as a failure to comply, and it will affect your parenting rights.

Challenges That May Arise

Shared custody can be challenging. There may be moments when one or both parents need to compromise for the best interest of their children. Situations when last-minute changes need to be done or parents disagree on how to spend the holidays are likely to appear, and it’s essential to keep in mind that your custody schedule should always reflect the best interest of your children.

Child Custody Lawyers in St. Louis

In our experience dealing with child custody matters, we have found that the best solutions for the child come by mediating with the parents. The children thrive in a better environment when both parents are satisfied with the results of a custody agreement and feel that their needs and concerns have been met.

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