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January 2, 2018

Co-Parenting Plans and Holidays

Divorce or separation often disrupt long-standing holiday traditions. It is challenging for parents to put aside their own feelings of loss to create new traditions for the children or continue their former traditions. A well-written, thorough Parenting Plan provides parents a guidebook to rely on.
It is important to remember that children benefit when both parents are active in their lives, and this includes spending time with extended families. In that first holiday season after separation, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for the parents to spend time together and keep to their former traditions without arguing or setting a negative tone. The Parenting Plan should establish time for each parent to share with the children over each holiday.
Holiday time will override the regular parenting schedule, but the regular schedule should be considered to ensure that holiday time does not create an unreasonably long period of deprivation from either parent. Parents may decide that it is best for their children to have the same annual holiday schedule to establish a routine tradition, or for the schedule to rotate in even years and odd years. For example, parents who reside nearby may have the children celebrate with mom every year from Christmas Eve at noon until Christmas Day at noon, and with dad from Christmas Day at noon until December 26 at noon. Alternatively, they may rotate this schedule so that mom has Christmas Eve in even years but Christmas Day in odd years.
Talking to an attorney prior to mediation or a hearing on the Parenting Plan will allow a parent to consider what is best for their children in detail and receive advice as to what the possibilities are. Having an attorney help draft a Parenting Plan will help avoid unnecessary conflict post-divorce and can aid in a smoother transition to a happy and healthy holiday. Attorney Kathrine Lacey is available to offer assistance.

January 2, 2018

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