Sharing the Holidays
It’s that time of year again – snow, sales and scheduling. For those going through a divorce, the holiday season can be difficult to navigate.
Last year, you celebrated the holidays with your entire family. This year, on the verge of divorce or post-divorce, the schedule will look different. How do you go about discussing and executing a plan that is stress-free for you and your children? Here are things to consider when crafting a holiday schedule during or after a divorce.
Getting a head start
When going through a divorce, discuss the holidays as early as possible. Parents often wait until the last minute to conjure a holiday schedule and, when an emergency arises, they find themselves fighting in court over who gets the children. Deciding what parent gets each holiday in advance can spare arguments as well as save the trouble and cost of attorneys’ fees for rushing to court during the holiday season.
Oftentimes, in allocation judgments holiday schedules include winter break for school aged children. How these schedules are broken up can be ambiguous. If you are taking the “first half” of winter break, does that include Christmas? Are you traveling? Will the winter break be more stressful if you are constantly taking your children back and forth? You want to minimize transitions as much as possible so that your children do not spend half of their winter break in the car. Ask these questions early and determine specific plans ahead of time.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
A common arrangement includes one parent with New Year’s Eve on odd years and New Year’s Day on even years. If New Year’s Eve is December 31, 2019 and New Year’s Day is January 1, 2020 does said parent have both days? It is essential that you are aware of the different ways to interpret odd and even years when drafting a schedule.
After all the decorations have been put away and school is back in session, the holidays are about your children’s experiences. Put your feelings aside and work to determine what is in the best interests of your children. It is rarely worth the stress and fees to rush into court to determine a schedule during the holiday season. In fact, towards the end of the year, many judges’ calendars fill up or are blocked for travel. Settling on a schedule together outside of the court system is the best option for all.
Kogut & Wilson can provide guidance on holiday planning and support on all types of family law matters. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys to help you and your spouse cover all the bases when crafting a holiday schedule.