Making Your Holiday Visitation Schedule
Arrangements for holiday time
You can make a holiday schedule to show where your child will spend holidays and special occasions.
This schedule has priority over the residential schedule.
Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.
Here are some common ways that parents divide and share holiday time:
- Alternate holidays every other year: You can assign holidays to each parent for even years and then swap the holidays in odd years. With this arrangement, you won't miss spending a holiday with your child more than one year in a row.
- Split the holiday in half: You can split the day of the holiday so that your child spends part of the day with each parent. This arrangement requires planning and coordination because you don't want your child to spend holidays traveling all day.
- Schedule a holiday twice: You can schedule time for each parent to celebrate a holiday with your child. For example, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the child on Dec. 20th and the other parent on the 25th.
- Assign fixed holidays: You can have each parent celebrate the same holidays with the child every year. If parents have different holidays that they think are important, each parent can have those holidays every year.
You can use any combination of these ways to divide and share holiday time to create holiday arrangements that allow your child to enjoy family traditions and spend quality time with both parents.
Holidays with special considerations
Some holidays have special considerations because both parents usually want to spend time with the child on or near the holiday.
Here are some ideas of how to share and divide these days:
- Your child's birthday: You can schedule a short visit for the parent who doesn't have the child on the birthday, give both parents birthday time in the schedule, or the parents can alternate having the birthday.
- Parents' birthdays: Your child can spend time with the parent on the parent's birthday.
- 3-day weekends: These holidays include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Parents can alternate the 3 day weekends, split the weekends, or give the Monday holiday to the parent who already has the weekend.
- Mother's Day and Father's Day: Usually your child spends every Mother's Day with the mother and every Father's Day with the father.
- Thanksgiving weekend: One parent can have Thanksgiving Day and the other parent can have the weekend, you can give both parents time on Thanksgiving and on the weekend, or parents can alternate having Thanksgiving and the weekend.
- The Christmas holiday season: One parent can have Christmas Eve and the other parent can have Christmas Day, one parent can have Christmas and the other parent can have winter break, you can make New Year's Eve and New Year's Day into one holiday and the parents alternate having it.
Holidays to include in your schedule
Common holidays to include in your holiday schedule are:
- New Year's Day—Jan 1st
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day—3rd Monday in Jan
- Lincoln's Birthday—Feb 12th
- Presidents Day—3rd Monday in Feb
- Spring Break
- Mother's Day—2nd Sunday in May
- Memorial Day—last Monday in May
- Father's Day—2nd Sunday in June
- Independence Day—July 4th
- Labor Day—1st Monday in Sept
- Columbus Day—2nd Monday in Oct
- Halloween—Oct 31st
- Veterans Day—Nov 11th
- Thanksgiving Day—4th Thursday in Nov
- Christmas Eve—Dec 24th
- Christmas Day—Dec 25th
- Winter Break
- New Year's Eve—Dec 31st
- Your child's birthday
You can also include:
- Religious holidays
- State holidays
- Days when your child is out of school, like teacher preparation days
- School vacation time, like summer break
- Other special occasions, like Mardi Gras
The easiest way to make a holiday visitation schedule
There's a lot to think about when you build 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.