For couples who have decided to divorce, trying to confirm a holiday child custody schedule can be challenging. After all, with most families celebrating the holidays, you and your ex-spouse are going to want to spend quality time with your children. The best course of action is to discuss with your spouse who the children will spend the Thanksgiving holiday with and include your child’s input in the decision. After Thanksgiving, Christmas is right around the corner, and the obvious rational decision would be to alternate the holidays if you can or alternate on an annual basis.   

You can do this on a yearly basis, with your ex-spouse having the children in odd years and you taking the children on even years or whatever would work best for you. Another avenue you could pursue is splitting the day for Thanksgiving and the proceeding holidays, which would allow for you and your ex-spouse to both spend time with the children. You could have the children during the day, and your ex-spouse could have them over in the evening for dinnertime. Not only will the children be well fed, but also, they will spend time with both parents and any relatives who have come to your festivities. A great way to compromise for Christmas is that the children spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas itself with the other. Or you could do what you did on Thanksgiving and have one parent have the children during the day and the other spouse has the children during the evening and alternates those options yearly.  

Thanksgiving Holiday Custody Schedule Ideas

The nature of the Thanksgiving holiday is that it allows for an extended weekend, and you can make reasonable arrangements with your ex-spouse for this holiday in your holiday schedule.

For example, one parent can have the children for Thanksgiving and the other parent the weekend. Perhaps you have the children from Wednesday afternoon until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, and your ex-spouse has the weekend from 6:00 p.m. Thursday until Monday at 9:00 a.m. or vice versa.

Obviously, you will need to determine a time that will work best for both of you and either keep that schedule annually or revisit the topic every year and make new arrangements. This is the best-case scenario if both parents live in the same area and should accommodate various types of work schedules.

New Jersey Court Approved Holiday Parenting Schedule

The New Jersey court holiday schedule provides that each parent has holidays with the child that alternate on a yearly basis. For example, you may have Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve in odd number years, such as 2021; and in even number years, for example, 2022, your ex-spouse will have Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

The Thanksgiving and holiday season will run alternate as follows:

  • Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving, Mother even years, Father odd years.
  • Christmas Eve, December 24, 6:00 p.m. to Christmas Day, December 25, 12:00 noon. Mother odd years, Father even years.
  • Christmas Day, December 25, 12:00 noon to December 26, 6:00 p.m. Mother even years, Father odd years,
  • New Year’s Eve Day, December 31, 6:00 p.m. to New Year’s Day, January 1 at 12:00 noon. Mother odd years, Father even years.
  • New Year’s Day, January 1, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. Mother odd years, Father even years.

Cherry Hill Child Custody Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Will Help You with Custody of Your Children during the Holiday Season

Being cordial and defining a custody schedule that works for you and your ex-spouse is easier said than done. There are many variables that can derail the custody schedule around the holidays. The Cherry Hill child custody lawyers at Burnham Douglass will advocate on your behalf if you find yourself in a contentious battle for custody of your children during the Thanksgiving holiday. We are always here to help our clients with honest and caring support. Contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505 for a free consultation. We are located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, and Mercer County.