If you are facing a divorce and wonder how you are going to handle visitation and custody of your children over the holiday period, take heart. Your attorney has great flexibility when it comes to preparing the holiday section of your divorce agreement, so you can probably work out something that will be acceptable to both parties. You should understand up front that neither of you will have the children exclusively and both parties must make concessions. However, if you are willing to work toward an amicable agreement, it is perfectly possible to create a visitation schedule that is acceptable to both of you.
How Are Holidays Handled?
There are as many different ways of handling holidays as there are divorce agreements. However, there are several methods that are very common for handling holiday visitation, including:
- Alternating holidays. One of the most common types of agreements allows each parent a major holiday on alternating years. For example, if you have the children for Thanksgiving this year, your spouse may have them for Christmas. Next year, she will have them for Thanksgiving and you will have them for Christmas.
- Split holidays. Another common way of handling the holidays is for the children to stay with one parent the week before Christmas up till noon on Christmas day, then go to the other parent’s house for the following week. This allows both parents time with the children on Christmas day. Another popular option is to allow the children to stay with one parent until the late evening of Christmas Eve, giving them time to open gifts or attend church services, then travel to the other parent’s home for Christmas morning.
- Shared holidays. In some cases, families still share holiday celebrations even after the divorce. This is not as common as the two partners move on with their lives, remarry or move away, but it is more common the first year or so after the divorce.
What If We Cannot Agree?
If you and your former spouse cannot agree on a visitation schedule, it will be up to a judge or arbitrator to make that decision for you. This is likely to result in a schedule that neither of you are completely satisfied with. For that reason, it is better to negotiate when possible.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are here to help. Talk to us today about your custody and visitation issues.