Holidays & Divorced Parents: Splitting the Holidays

Different Ways Co-Parents Can Divide Holiday Time

Navigating the holidays post-separation or divorce requires careful planning, open communication, and a shared commitment to putting your children's needs first. However, with the right approach, you can create a holiday arrangement that ensures your children enjoy an uninterrupted seasonal celebration.

When you create a parenting plan, you will need to discuss the holidays and vacation time. Below, we discuss options parents have concerning how to split their parenting time during the holidays.

1. Split the Day

One of the simplest ways to share the holidays is to split the day. This can mean one parent celebrates with the kids in the morning and the other in the evening.

To make this work, ensure the transition is smooth and stress-free. For instance, decide on a neutral location for the switch to avoid disrupting the festive mood. Remember, the focus should be on your children experiencing the joy of the holiday with both parents.

2. Alternating Holidays

Another effective strategy is to alternate holidays each year. For example, if one parent has the children for Thanksgiving this year, the other parent gets them the next year. This ensures both parents get quality holiday time with their children.

2b. Alternate Holidays & Allow Virtual Celebrations

In situations where physical gatherings are not possible, virtual celebrations can come in handy. If one parent cannot be with the children on a particular holiday, schedule a video call so they can still participate in the festivities.

3. Spending Holidays Together

If your relationship with your ex-partner allows, consider spending the holidays together as a family. This can provide your children with a sense of normalcy and unity. However, only choose this option if you can maintain a peaceful and joyful environment.

4. Celebrating Holidays on Different Days

Holidays don't necessarily have to be celebrated on the exact day. If you find it difficult to divide the holidays, you should consider celebrating on different days. This way, your children can enjoy a full day of celebration with each parent.

5. Splitting the Breaks

For longer holiday breaks, like summer or winter break, consider splitting the break in half. This can be a split down the middle, or you could alternate weeks. This allows both parents to plan unique holiday activities and traditions.

6. Adhering to the Normal Custody Schedule

If your current custody schedule is working well, sticking to it over the holidays might be a good option. You can celebrate the holiday whenever you have custody. This provides consistency and stability, which is beneficial for children during these times.

7. Designating Consistent Holidays

Each parent could also choose specific holidays that they celebrate with the children every year. For instance, one parent could always have the children on Christmas, while the other parent has them on New Year's Day. This allows for consistency and gives everyone something to look forward to.

At the Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C., our attorneys can help you draft a parenting plan and holiday arrangement that is in the best interest of you and your child. To schedule a time to meet with our attorneys, call (516) 514-3868 or reach out online.