Having a holiday visitation schedule can help relieve stress for divorced parents during the holiday season.  A holiday visitation schedule will not only make your life easier, but it can also keep you from constantly having to negotiate specific visitation details with your ex. Generally speaking, parents usually rotate holidays like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving.

A holiday visitation schedule typically takes precedence over a regular visitation schedule. Because of this, both parents need to seriously consider their arrangements when setting up their visitation schedule for the holidays. For example, if the non-custodial parent will miss their regular visitation time because the other parent has the kids during the holidays, the regular schedule will resume as normal after the holidays.

Common ways parents divide up their holiday visitation schedule include:

  • Alternating Holidays Every Other Year: Parents can assign holidays for even years and then switch holidays for odd years.
  • Splitting the Holidays in Half: Parents sometimes split a holiday so that their children can spend part of the day with each parent. However, this type of arrangement requires planning and coordination that might be difficult for some divorced couples
  • Scheduling a Holiday Twice: Schedules can be made that allow time for each parent to celebrate a holiday. For example, one parent can celebrate Thanksgiving with the kids the day before, while the other parent celebrates the holiday the following day.
  • Assigning Fixed Holidays: Some parents schedule to celebrate specific holidays with their children. When parents celebrate different holidays, they can choose to have the kids on the specific holidays they celebrate. For example, if one spouse celebrates Christmas, but the other doesn’t, then fixed visitation can be assigned to the parent who celebrates the holiday.

You can combine any of the above visitation schedules to help solidify an arrangement that will allow your kids to spend quality time with each parent during the holiday season.