Tips on Child Custody and Holidays

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Holidays can be anything but idyllic for parents sharing custody of children. Therefore, I’ve put together the following list of tips for divorced parents to keep in mind during future holidays:

• Don’t make your child feel guilty if you are not going to be together on the actual holiday. It’s fine to tell your child you miss him or her but try to focus on making the child feel happy and excited about what is planned. Emphasize that you will celebrate with him or her on another day.

• Don’t plan too much and don’t set expectations too high if your child will be with you on the holiday. Focus on enjoying the time you spend with your child. Too many activities on a certain day can be overwhelming for both you and your child.

• If your child is not going to be with you, make plans for yourself. Find things to keep you busy so you aren’t thinking about not being with your child.

• Create new traditions with your child. Don’t try to recreate holidays spent when both parents were married or together. Move forward and incorporate things from the past while finding new things you and your child can call your own.

Hopefully, your parenting time schedule is very clear regarding your holiday schedule with your children, including drop-off and pick-up times for each holiday and which holidays are yours in the odd numbered years and which are yours in the even numbered years. If your custody and parenting time agreement is vague and leaves room for interpretation, consider revising the agreement through mediation or with your attorney to include times that work for both households. A vague custody agreement can often lead to unnecessary tension and disagreement, and even litigation

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Timothy Durkin, JacksonWhite, P.C. | Attorney Advertising

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