Your child custody agreement may generally say that your child lives with you for a week and then lives with your ex for a week, or that they spend the weeks with you and then visit your ex on the weekends. Whatever the arrangement is, you likely set it up to fit your normal daily life.
However, the holidays are not your normal daily life. Things change. Children have different schedules and they don’t have to go to school. You have time off work. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time for families, and there are many different celebrations and traditions. How can you address this in terms of custody? Here are three potential options.
Have one holiday celebration
If you and your ex are on fairly good terms, it may be best just to have one holiday celebration where you both spend the day with the children together. This is simple and easy, and it involves the least amount of travel and scheduling for the kids. They just get to relax and have a good time, which is your end goal. Of course, it only works if the parents are able to make it work, and this is not feasible for all couples.
Take the kids for half of the day
A second option would be to have your children with you for half of the holiday and then allow them to go spend the other half with your ex. The two of you will have to decide which half you each want more, and the big downside here is that the children have to travel in the middle of the day. That may not matter if you live close to each other, but it can be annoying if there’s a significant distance.
Split up the holidays themselves
Finally, you may want to split up different holidays. If the children were with you on Thanksgiving, then maybe they should go spend Christmas with your ex. Next year, you can just do the opposite. The downside of this is that you have certain holidays where you don’t see the kids at all, but it is at least a fair solution where both you and your ex will get to have some of the time with the children that you want.
Child custody solutions can be complicated, and you do have parental rights. Always make sure that you know exactly what options you have and what those rights are.