Child Custody Holiday Schedule

Child Custody Holiday Schedule

Creating a child custody schedule is not an easy task. When going through a divorce, you should be putting a lot of thought into the custody of your child and what would be in your child’s best interest.

Co-parents are typically encouraged by the family law courts to determine an appropriate custody schedule outside of court that both co-parents can agree on. One very important thing that must be covered when discussing possible custody schedules is a separate child custody holiday schedule.

Luckily, most arrangements can be easily altered if both parents agree.

When you’re making arrangements, consider what holidays are most important to you, how you traditionally celebrate, and where you celebrate the holidays in relation to your spouse.

In some cases you might be able to offer half-days — maybe breakfast or brunch at one home, followed by dinner at another. In other cases you may have to take alternate days.

When you talk to your ex about making arrangements, be willing to compromise. Nothing will bring discussions to a halt quicker than being unwilling to share time. In fact, if your ex is unwilling to negotiate, you may be able to use that unwillingness to get a court to order holiday custody, depending on the circumstances.

Ask these questions when making the best holiday schedule for you and your family.

Family law practitioner Linda Kernsaw recommends  being detail oriented. This will help you to have stress free holidays and vacations for years to come. She also suggest keeping the following questions in mind:

1. If you travel, what would be the best pickup and drop-off times? For example, if you spend Thanksgiving at a relative’s house, two hours away, allow for travel time.

2. Who should provide transportation?

3. Are there holidays that you celebrate and the other parent does not? Use these as a bargaining chip.

4. Consider your work schedule and the children’s school schedules.

5. If there is a Monday holiday, would you like it to include the entire weekend or just Monday during the day?

6. Would you like to define Thanksgiving as the entire weekend, to allow for travel?

7. Should school breaks be alternated and rotated or divided midweek?

8. Would you like your custody schedule to include Mother’s or Father’s birthday or the child’s birthday?

9. Go through the list carefully – are there other holidays you would like to add that your family celebrates?

10. Reduce all agreements to writing and have it incorporated into an enforceable court order. You can always negotiate changes between yourselves but, in the event of a misunderstanding, you will have a set agreement on which to rely.

Best wishes for happy and stress free holidays, vacations and weekends!.

Linda an attorney practicing in Philadelphia, the surrounding suburbs, and Southern New Jersey. You can contact her via her website at


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Aundie Donohue
Aundie Donohue 82 posts

Aundie comes to IMO from a career grounded by fashion and design. "My enthusiasm for this work started when I studied fashion in the Lone Star State and later in Paris— the City of Lights". Aundie is a wardrobe stylist, clothing designer, eBay entrepreneur and project manager with Mary Kay, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, Elle Magazine , Blue October to name a few.

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1 Comment

  1. AnnAbbitz
    March 04, 19:14 Reply
    I am so glad that you posted this. I know many of the significant "family" holidays have just passed us by, but these hints are great tools that can be saved and used again when the time comes around. This is also helpful when you have family out of state, and one of you wants to make sure your child gets to visit his or her grandparents, etc. The absolute best way to have a stress free trip is to talk beforehand (NO MATTER how hard it may be to speak with one another).

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