utahdivorceattorneyNovember 16, 2021
How to Avoid Holiday Custody Fights
The holiday season is a time for families and friends to celebrate and create new memories. But for divorced or separated couples, it can also be a time of stress and conflict, putting families are in the midst of a holiday child custody battle. Coordinating the time that children will spend with each parent (and grandparents) for each of the upcoming major holidays can be difficult. The best way to limit confusion and hurt feelings is to set up a Utah child custody holiday calendar – in advance!
Before the holiday season arrives, be aware of what the final decree in your divorce or temporary order pending divorce states about visitation rights. This schedule will have precedence over any other decisions made about holiday custody or visitation rights. If you have not already listed Holiday season schedules, here are some tips on sharing custody during the holidays.
3 Holiday Child Custody Battle Tips
Have a Holiday Child Custody Agreement
Often there is already a child custody agreement in effect for holidays in addition to time spent with each parent during the school year and during summer vacations. Many divorced couples will detail a separate child custody agreement that is specific to all the major holidays. The divorced couple may choose to alternate certain holidays each year – with each choosing a major summer and winter holiday. For example, one may choose the Fourth of July and Christmas one year, while the other may opt for Thanksgiving and Memorial Day.
The agreement should be written out, similar to a legal document and if possible, there should be a clause included for changes. Things will come up in life, and often it may in the best interests of the children to change the schedule – swapping out one holiday for another.
A Fixed Holiday Schedule
A great way to create lasting memories each and every year is to agree on a fixed holiday schedule, where the children will spend certain holidays each year with each parent. This way, plans can be made to include grandparents and holiday trips out of town. The best reason for a fixed child custody holiday schedule Utah is for the purpose of having established holiday traditions within the family.
“Holiday traditions become an essential aspect of how we celebrate, and there is a reason why we keep them as a part of our lives for so long. Simply put we hold onto holiday traditions because they add meaning to our celebrations, and help bond us to those we love.”
Celebrate the Holidays Twice
For some families, it may make sense to celebrate the holiday with both parents. A double Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas celebration can be easily established when both parents live in close vicinity to each other. Since Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’ holidays are long weekends or vacation time is usually added to the holiday, the children can stay with one parent until the eve of the holiday and be with the other parent on the day of celebration.
To celebrate the holidays twice, you may want to consider the age of your family. For younger children this may be a bit too much excitement in such a short time frame, but for older children – they would likely enjoy the double holiday concept.
If you need help navigating through holiday parent time, please contact our office