Holiday visitation schedules are often a source of unfortunate disputes between separated and divorced parents. Families that once enjoyed holiday activities and traditions may find it hard to divide visitation time between two households. However, a happy holiday after divorce is possible. The following are tips to prevent and resolve visitation conflicts for a peaceful holiday season for parents and children alike.
Holiday Visitation Scenarios
While every parenting plan is unique, there are a few holiday visitation arrangements that will apply to most families:
Regular visitation schedule remains in place. In this scenario, there are no deviations from the regular schedule, even for holidays.
Parents alternate holidays every other year. For this holiday visitation arrangement, the holidays for the calendar year are divided between parents and reversed the following year. So, a mother may have the children for Christmas and the father can have them next year.
Parents divide each holiday in half. This plan is good for parents who live relatively close to each other and are willing to transport the children to their ex-spouse’s home on the holiday. This gives children the benefit of seeing both sides of the family on the same day.
Separated or divorced parents spend the holiday together. Some couples remain friends after divorce and continue to spend holidays together as they have in the past. This can work provided both parents are on board. This gives children a sense of continuity and reminds them that families can remain civil after divorce.
Parents elect to use a default schedule or deviate as they see fit. While every separated or divorced couple should have some form of a parenting visitation schedule, some parents choose to deviate from it occasionally for special circumstances. This only works for especially amicable and cooperative exes.
Choosing the Right Holiday Visitation Schedule for Your Family
For a visitation schedule that works for your family, consider the following factors:
- The children’s wishes
- How effectively you and your ex communicate
- The geographical distance between you and your ex
- If certain holidays hold special importance to you and your children
- Work and school schedules and how they may impact holiday visitation
The most effective way to reduce undue stress surrounding visitation schedules is to plan ahead. Divorced couples establish a visitation schedule either through mediation and a court-approved parenting agreement, or through a court order. Both set the terms for when the children spend time with each parent.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Help Clients Achieve Effective Visitation Solutions
It is never easy to be without your children during the holidays. Yet, South Jersey divorce lawyers work to resolve your child custody matters in a way that protects their best interests and meets the unique needs of your family. To learn more about our family law services, call us or contact us online to schedule a free case review today. With locations in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we work with clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.