When spouses with minor children separate or get divorced, then a parenting schedule needs to be put in place to dictate when each parent is with the child(ren). A temporary parenting schedule is typically ordered when the parties have separated and the child custodyissues are pending in the court. A permanent parenting schedule is a part of a parenting plan and allocation judgment(which finalizes all child custody issues).
Regardless of the type of parenting schedule, there are generally three types of parenting time: regular, holiday, and vacation. Regular parenting time is the default schedule. Vacation parenting time usually consists of blocks of consecutive days in the summer andduring school breaks. Holidays consist of the major holidays and can also include other special days such as children’s or parent’s birthday.
Settling on a parenting schedule for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas is challenging for the spouses on both emotional and practical levels. Major holidays are often family time with celebrations and feasts. The prospect of experiencing this time without your child(ren) is very difficult emotionally. Additionally, “dividing” the holiday so that the child(ren) can participate with each parent’s family’s celebration on the same day can be difficult if not impossible logistically.
The default to resolving a holiday parenting time dispute is for each parent to alternate the holiday each year. However, creative solutions should be considered in order to minimize the emotional affect a holiday without children will have on the parent not present For example, holidays may be more important for one spouse than the other. If one spouse’s family celebration occurs on Christmas Eve every year, while the other parent’s family’s celebration occurs on Christmas day, then perhaps each can have their celebration with family every year.
An experienced attorney can help craft a holiday schedule that maximizes the celebration and minimizes the emotional conflict. The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been serving DuPage and Cook County residents for nearly 50 years. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys, please email us or call (630) 573-8585 to schedule a free consultation.
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