Parenting Time and the Holidays

November 21, 2022

The Holiday season can be a wonderful time for families and traditions. However, when you are going through a divorce or custody proceedings, it can also be a stressful time. There are a lot of unknowns during the process and the upcoming holidays add an extra layer to that list. During this time, unless you have a court-issued parenting order, the parents will have to agree to the holiday schedule. In addition, if the children are school age, you may need to determine how the additional time over winter break will be divided between parents.

Decide What Holidays Your Child Will Spend With Each Parent

The parents should discuss the importance of the holidays, including any special holiday traditions. For example, if a parent regularly has their family from out-of-town visit on Thanksgiving, they may prefer to have the children on that day.

If the parents cannot decide on the parenting schedule, each court in their respective county has a standard parenting schedule that outlines the holidays. This should be used as a default option for when there is no agreement. It will outline if a parent gets the holiday during even-numbered years or in the odd-numbered years.

Scheduling and Other Considerations

We advise that you work with your attorney in working toward a resolution. If you cannot come to an agreement, it is advised to file a motion with the Court for the matter to be heard. However, unless you present strong facts favoring a unique holiday schedule, the Court will rely on its local proposed schedule.

It is important to remember that if you don’t get the holiday this year, you will get that holiday next year. It can be a difficult transition during this time and the holidays may look different for you amid your divorce or custody proceedings. However, your children will enjoy spending the holiday with you no matter what the date says on the calendar.

Parenting Schedule Guides

As referenced, please see the following links for the local counties parenting schedule:

For further information or to speak with an attorney regarding your child custody agreement, please contact KJK Family Law Partner Carly Boyd (CBOYD@kjk.com; 216.736.7254).