When parents decide to separate or get a divorce, one of the most important things they must do is create a plan for how their children will spend holidays with each of them. This plan is called a holiday visitation schedule. Creating a holiday visitation schedule can be complicated, and it’s important to keep it up to date as the family’s situation changes.
With the holiday season coming up, it is a good idea to revisit the holiday visitation schedules families have set up for their kids. There are several advantages to updating a holiday visitation schedule. Firstly, it ensures that the schedule is fair for both parents. Secondly, it allows parents to be adaptable and make changes based on their work schedules or other responsibilities. Thirdly, it helps to minimize arguments and tension during the holiday season.
Changes in Family Circumstances
As kids grow, their needs change. For instance, when they’re young, they might be okay with spending Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other. But as they get older, they might want to spend more time with both parents on both holidays.
Sometimes, new members join the family, like step-siblings after a parent remarries. When this happens, the holiday plan should be updated to include the new family members.
Parents might also move to different cities or states. This can mess up the original holiday plan. They might need to change the plan to fit the new travel arrangements. Also, if one or both parents have health issues or a new job, it might be hard to follow the old plan. They might need to work together on a new plan that works better for everyone.
Flexibility and Communication
Keeping the holiday plan up to date lets parents be flexible and talk to each other. They can make a plan that works for their kids and their families. This can help to keep fights and stress to a minimum during the holidays.
For example, if one parent has to work on Christmas Eve, the parents might decide to switch holidays that year. Or, if the kids have a holiday play, the parents might decide to go together, even if it means changing the holiday plan.
Creating a Fair and Balanced Plan
A current holiday visitation plan should be fair for both parents. It should think about what the children need and when the parents work. It should also be fair for the children’s other family members.
For instance, if one parent has more time off during the holidays, they might agree to spend more time with the kids. Or, if one parent lives closer to the children’s grandparents or other relatives, they might agree to let the kids spend more holidays with them.
How to Update a Holiday Visitation Schedule
If you need to change your holiday plan, start by talking to your co-parent. Tell them what you need and be open to hearing what they need too. It’s important to be flexible and understanding.
Once you both agree, write it down and have both parents sign it. This can prevent any confusion or fights later on.
Here are some other tips for updating the holiday plan:
- Think about how old the kids are and what they need. Younger kids might need a consistent routine, while older kids might be okay with more changes.
- Remember the parents’ work and other things they have to do.
- Be realistic about how far apart the parents live. It might not be possible for the kids to spend every holiday with both parents if they live far away.
- Think about the traditions and what the kids and other family members like.
Making changes to a holiday plan is a big part of keeping a fair custody agreement. It helps parents talk and be flexible. It also makes sure that the kids have a fair holiday plan. If you need to change your holiday plan, talk to the other parent and be ready to give a little. You may also want to seek legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney to ensure that the updated schedule is fair for everyone.
Be honest about what you want and listen to what the other parent wants. Be ready to meet in the middle. Always think about what’s best for the kids. Write down the new plan and both parents should sign it. Check the plan often and change it if you need to.
Changing a holiday plan can be hard, but remember, the goal is to make a plan that’s fair for everyone. By following these tips, parents can make a holiday plan that works for everyone.