Divorce Visitation on Lincoln's Birthday

Lincoln's Birthday (also called Lincoln Day) is a state holiday in honor of the 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln.

Seven states observe it on February 12, the anniversary of Lincoln's birth: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Texas. On the other hand, Indiana and New Mexico celebrate it on the day after Thanksgiving. Elsewhere, it's not an independent holiday, but part of Presidents Day.

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Lincoln's Birthday may give your child more than one day off of school if it coincides with the weekend or a school break. Some schools close on a day other than the actual holiday. (e.g., California public schools close on Monday or Friday the week of February 12). Other schools don't close at all.

Due to this variation, it's important that divorcing parents making a visitation schedule address Lincoln Day specifically.

Scheduling options

The following divorce visitation schedules for Lincoln Day assume the child doesn't have school on the holiday. Review your child's school calendar to see how much time off you need to account for.

Make it a fixed holiday

You could agree to give one parent the holiday every year, whether it lasts just one day...

...or multiple days. Often, the holiday goes to the noncustodial parent, since they have limited visitation in the regular custody schedule.

Alternate the holiday

Your divorce visitation schedule could state that one parent gets custody on Lincoln Day in even-numbered years and the other gets it in odd-numbered years.

Split the holiday

If your child has just a day off, one parent could have the child for the first part of the day. In this example, Dad has the kids from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Mom has the kids from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If your child gets a longer break, each parent can have more time. For example, when Lincoln's Birthday is on the Friday before Presidents Day, you could give one parent Friday and Saturday, and the other parent from Sunday until your child returns to school.

Factor in your school break schedule

Your divorce visitation arrangement should address school breaks. You might state that if Lincoln Day occurs during a break (such as Thanksgiving break in Indiana and New Mexico), the parent who's scheduled for that time gets the holiday.

Alternatively, you could allow the child to visit the other parent just for the day of the holiday. This works well when only one parent has the day off work.

Use multiple schedules

A good way to account for year-to-year changes is to agree to multiple arrangements.

For example, your agreement could state: "If Lincoln's Birthday falls on a Friday or Monday, the parent who does not have the weekend in the regular schedule gets the holiday. If Lincoln's Birthday falls on a weekday, Mom and Dad will split the holiday."

Be sure to include exact exchange times.

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.

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