Handling Holiday Visitation

A young child putting an ornament on a tree

Putting on a Happy Face

The holidays are fast approaching, and while this signals a time of joy and celebration, it can also strike fear into the hearts of co-parents who have to work out parenting time arrangements. Fortunately, there are options to ensure that everyone has a great holiday season despite these circumstances.

Here are some ways you can make certain parenting time is handled effectively over the holiday season.

Alternating Holidays

One of the simplest arrangements parents can include in their parenting time schedules is to alternate holidays year by year. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to assign one parent even-numbered years and the other parent odd-numbered years.

For example, if one parent is assigned Christmas in odd-numbered years while the other has Thanksgiving in odd-numbered years, then those holidays would proceed as normal. The next year, an even-numbered year, they would alternate, giving the first parent Thanksgiving and the other Christmas.

Fixed Holidays

Another option instead of alternating holidays is to assign fixed holidays to each parent that stick with them regardless of whether it is an odd or even-numbered year. If one parent is assigned Christmas, for example, then he or she would have the child for Christmas every year.

Double Up on the Holiday

Oftentimes, parents wish to spend each holiday with their children, making it essential to schedule a time to celebrate that holiday with their children on an additional day during the season. For example, if one parent has a larger share of parenting time and ultimately has the children for Christmas on the 25th, she and the other parent could work out a way for the other parent to have a Christmas celebration of their own on a different day, like Christmas Eve, during that week.

Split the Holiday

Perhaps a bit more complex of an arrangement, some parents choose to split the holiday in half, allowing each parent time with the child on the actual holiday. While this does require more coordination, planning, and communication with your co-parent, this alternative does allow for the child to spend time on the holiday with both parents, creating valuable bonding time.

Do the Holidays Present a Custody Issue?

While the holidays can be a wonderful time with family and friends, they can also signal issues with child custody arrangements. If this situation is true of you, it’s important to seek legal representation right away to ensure your agreement is enforced. At Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., our team is committed to serving your needs and helping you reach a favorable resolution.


To ask questions of our custody attorneys or to schedule a consultation, call us at (312) 487-2795 or visit us online.

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