The leaves are changing. Pumpkin spice is appearing in everything from coffee to candles. As if the fall-themed décor was not enough, we are now starting to see Christmas trees and lights on display in local stores. The rapid change of seasons is a good reminder for parents considering or who have recently completed a divorce. Before the snow starts flying, reviewing the parenting plan and ensuring you are ready for upcoming holiday celebrations is a good idea.
How does child custody work over holidays?
Who gets which dates is generally discussed during the divorce. Parents should enter this process with an idea of which dates have priority. Are there certain celebrations that are more important than others? It can help to have a list in mind and an order of importance. This can make the negotiations when putting together a parenting schedule go over much more smoothly and better ensure you get the dates that you consider most important.
Minnesota courts encourage parents to include a parenting time schedule that addresses holidays with as much detail as possible to avoid future conflict. This includes specifics like pick-up and drop-off details.
Which holidays should I include in my parenting plan?
The answer will vary depending on your family. Some encouraged by Minnesota courts include:
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Labor Day
- Fourth of July
- New Year’s Eve
It is also important to note that school calendars often follow major American holidays. This can mean children have time off during the dates noted above. School calendars also often include a spring and winter break. It is wise to account for these times within the parenting plan as well.
What if my parenting plan does not cover a specific holiday?
There are some holidays that may not come up during these discussions. If that happens and the parenting plan or custody agreement does not specifically address a holiday, the parent who is scheduled to have time with the child otherwise would likely get the child for that date.