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How parents can share holidays in co-parenting arrangements

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Family Law

Divorcing parents often have a difficult path ahead. They have to adjust to new living arrangements in which they only see their children some of the time. It is usually best for the children for both adults to have a generous amount of parenting time, but the adjustment to a shared parenting arrangement can be difficult.

It can take months for the family to adjust to the new lifestyle of co-parenting. Children have to adjust to moving back and forth between two homes, while the parents must learn to share time with their children. Becoming comfortable with the overall need to share parenting time is a challenge.

Parents may find that holidays and other special days can be especially difficult to contemplate as their family situations change. Parents generally do not want to spend an important day away from their children.

How can parents sharing custody effectively handle holidays, birthdays and other special days?

Alternating special days

An alternating custody schedule is one of the more popular options for addressing custody on holidays after a divorce. The parents spend every other major holiday with the children throughout the year. The next year, they each have the opposite holidays. The solution is a relatively fair option that allows each parent time to spend every holiday and major event with the children while minimizing the risk of parental conflict.

Splitting special days

Parents can also make arrangements to divide time with the children on special days including holidays and birthdays. The children may start the day with one parent and then spend the evening with the other. This way, both parents play an active role in each of the special days that their children enjoy.

Sharing special days

In scenarios where co-parents have fostered a healthy style of communication after separating from one another, they might be able to share holidays and birthdays. Provided that the adults can refrain from actively arguing with each other, the children may prefer to have a single celebration with everyone present.

Adults need to think carefully about what they and their co-parents are capable of when they establish arrangements for sharing parenting time. Creating unique holiday custody arrangements can help preserve holiday traditions and help everyone heal after a major change to a family unit.

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