Memorial Day for Divorced Parents

Memorial Day, considered the unofficial start of summer, is the last Monday in May. Divorced parents should include it in their holiday visitation schedule, especially if they get the day off of work or their child gets the day off of school.

Keep in mind that this can be a particularly important holiday for military families because it honors individuals who died serving in the U.S. military.

Deciding parenting time for Memorial Day and other three-day weekends can be particularly difficult for families with a recent divorce, who are often used to spending the day together. A clear plan helps everyone enjoy the day without conflict.

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Memorial Day schedule options

When negotiating a parenting plan and schedule with the other parent, you can agree on whatever works for your situation. For example, if a mother is in the military, parents might choose to give her the day every year.

Consider these other common Memorial Day arrangements as you make your parenting plan and visitation schedule.

Split the three-day weekend

You can agree to split the three-day weekend evenly or according to your standard division of parenting time (e.g., 70/30).

In this roughly equal division, one parent has the child from 8 a.m. Saturday to noon on Sunday. Then, the child stays with the other parent until 8 p.m. on Monday.

A potential downside to this option is that only one parent gets to see the child during the day on Monday, which is when many Memorial Day celebrations take place.

Split Monday only

If you don't want to change your standard weekend schedule, you can split Monday only. The child spends Monday morning with the parent who has Sunday night, then spends Monday afternoon with the other parent.

Give the weekend parent the extra day

In this arrangement, the child spends Monday with the parent who has the preceding weekend.

Imagine a family who uses the alternating weekends schedule. If Memorial Day falls immediately after the noncustodial parent's weekend, that parent gets the extra day.

Celebrate together

Celebrating the holiday together can be a good option when parents want to continue a tradition after divorce. However, this is only recommended for parents who can spend time together without conflict.

Alternate yearly

Many parents alternate who has Memorial Day each year. Your child might spend the three-day weekend (or just Monday) with you in even-numbered years and with the other parent in odd-numbered years.

Alternate three-day weekends

Parents can choose to alternate three-day weekends within a year. The rotation might stay the same every year or shift.

For example, one parent might have Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day, while the other has Presidents Day and Labor Day.

Use the court's standard schedule

When parents can't agree on their parenting time schedule, the court decides in a custody hearing or trial. Many courts issue a standard visitation schedule that includes Memorial Day.

For more information, see our guide to visitation in your location.

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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