How to Make Holiday Custody Schedules

With Custody X Change, you can create a unique parenting time schedule for any holiday (including birthdays).

First, explore popular ways to share custody on holidays. Then, follow the five steps below to create a holiday schedule.

For information on how holiday schedules work with your repeating schedules, review the basics of custody calendars and schedules.

Step 1: Choose your country or religion

To begin, click the "calendar" tab at the top of the app.

Then, click the "holidays" tab to the left of your calendar (or beneath your calendar if you're on a phone).

To change the country, click "locations" next to its name. You can select multiple options: Australian, Canadian, U.S., U.K. or Jewish holidays.

Step 2: Schedule holidays from the list

The app gives you two ways to work from the long list of holidays that appears. You can use templates to schedule a set of holidays instantly, and you can schedule holidays one by one.

Use templates — or holidays from your other calendars

Created by custody experts, templates reflect the most-common holiday arrangements. In just a few clicks, they give you a complete holiday schedule that you can customize.

Your holiday schedules from other Custody X Change calendars are also available as templates.

When you click the "templates" button, the options you see depend on your situation.

Professional users must first decide whether to import from an existing client's calendar or from a standard template.

Users who have already set up holidays for another Custody X Change calendar must first decide whether to import from that calendar or from a standard template.

If you'll import from a template and you selected multiple country or religion groups in Step 1, choose one group to work on first, using the "country" drop-down box.

If you're importing from a template for a country, select your child's age. Parents with multiple children should choose the age group for the oldest child or use a different calendar for each child if the children will follow different schedules.

If you're importing from the template for Jewish holidays, rather than select an age, select an approach: alternating which parent gets the holy day each year, sharing every holy day or giving one parent all holy days. Choose one option for now, and you can adjust individual visits later.

When you click "use this template," all the template's visits get added to your calendar. Your holiday list marks the added visits with green checks and shows an overview of how parents share each occasion.

To edit a holiday visit, click it in the list or in the calendar. From there, you can delete the holiday, assign it to a different parent or change its date and times.

To add more holidays one by one, use the method below.

Schedule holidays one by one

If you don't want to use a template, you can schedule holidays one at a time. From the list, click on the holiday you want to schedule.

A drop-down menu will show ways you can allocate parenting time over that holiday:

  • By alternating which parent will get physical custody on the holiday each year (one parent in years that end in an odd number, the other in years that end with an even number)
  • By assigning the holiday to one parent regardless of the year (popular for Mother's Day and Father's Day)
  • By assigning the holiday to the parent who will already have physical custody at the start (often used for Monday school breaks)
  • By assigning the holiday — or, more commonly, part of it — to the parent who would not ordinarily have custody time then

The last option ("whoever has no time") works well if you want to split a holiday with the other parent every year. For example, you could use it to give your child time with both parents on Halloween.

Select the rule that works best for your family. Then define the holiday's dates.

Perhaps your family's New Year's Day celebration lasts from the 1st to the 2nd. Since the holiday is officially only on the 1st, you would set the holiday period to end one day afterward.

Repeat the above process for all other holidays that will deviate from your regular schedule.

Step 3: Add birthdays

If you see "Add your children" below your holiday list, click it. Once you've entered their names and birth dates, you'll be brought back to the holiday screen.

When you see your children's names below your holiday list, click on each child to set a custody schedule for their birthday. Once you've set a schedule, your child's name will display a green check mark next to it.

To add a parent's birthday or another person's birthday, treat it as a custom holiday in the next step.

Step 4: Add custom holidays

To add an annual holiday that's not listed, click "add new holiday" at the bottom of the holidays screen and follow the prompts.

To add a special occasion that won't repeat each year, use a one-time change instead.

Step 5: Set parameters for vacations

Notice the section at the bottom of the "holidays" tab called "vacation allowances."

Here, click on either parent to set parameters for how long and how often they can take the child on vacation. You can also specify how far in advance the other parent must be notified.

Since these vacations don't have exact dates yet, they don't appear on your calendar. Instead, the terms appear in your parenting plan.

If you've made a custody schedule for your child's summer break, you can also limit vacations to that time period or to the rest of the year.

When either parent is ready to schedule a vacation that complies with the rules, they can do so by creating a one-time schedule change in Custody X Change. Of course, if the trip will take place during their regularly scheduled custody time, they don't need to change the custody schedule at all.

What's next

Once your calendar has holiday schedules, you're ready to focus on one-time changes. Use these any time parents agree to deviate from the parenting schedule.