Why You Need A Holiday Visitation Schedule

Setting up a holiday custody and visitation schedule is a very important part of your parenting time schedule. Children have a lot of memories and expectations that go along with holidays, and when parents separate or divorce the children can have great anxiety that their holidays will no longer be any fun.

You need to make a schedule and be prepared to discuss it with your children. You should explain to them how the holiday schedule will work and reassure the children that holidays will still be special family time, but the child will celebrate the holiday differently than before. Here are some ideas for preparing your holiday schedule.

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Ways to schedule holiday parenting time

You actually have some options when it comes to holidays. First, you and the other parent need to decide how you will share holiday time. Here are your options:

  • Divide the day of the holiday between both parents
  • Give each parent a separate day to celebrate the same holiday
  • Alternate important holidays
  • A combination of the above methods

Split the day of the holiday

Let's say you and the other parent want to split the holiday time on the actually holiday. First, you want to make a list of all of the holidays that you want to share. Common shared holidays include Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then you decide which parent has the child for the first half of the day and which parent has the child the second half of the day. You should also determine how the transportation will work on the holiday.

Celebrate on separate days

A slight variation of sharing the holiday is to give both parents a time to celebrate the holiday. For example, one parent can have the child on Christmas Eve, and the other parent has the child on Christmas day. One parent has the child on Thanksgiving Day, and the other parent has them for the weekend following Thanksgiving. This can be a nice arrangement for the child because the child has time to settle in and actually enjoy the holiday.

Alternate important holidays

Another holiday schedule option is for you and the other parent to alternate the major holidays. In this case, you should make a list of all of the holidays you want to celebrate. The list can be extensive and include all holidays, or as few holidays as the you want. You and the other parent then go through and divide the holidays. You can agree to swap holidays every year so that they end up with a fair schedule. You can also choose a different method of alternating holidays — some parents create a new holiday schedule every year.

The easiest way to make a holiday visitation schedule

There's a lot to think about when you're building a holiday schedule. You'll want it to address weekend and midweek holidays, reflect special occasions unique to your family (like birthdays) and work for years to come.

The Custody X Change app makes it easy. Just open your Custody X Change calendar and follow our steps to make a holiday schedule.

To make a custody schedule quickly and affordably, turn to Custody X Change. You'll get written and visual versions that meet your family's needs, as well as court standards.

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Explore examples of common schedules



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