Even without having to work around a child custody schedule, the holidays can be hectic. When you have your child’s custody arrangement to consider, they only become more stressful. In most shared custody arrangements, the children spend part of the week with one parent and the rest of the week with the other. Sticking to this rigid schedule can create situations where the children miss out on one extended family’s holiday celebration each year or one parent spends every holiday with the children.
There are a few solutions to this dilemma. For most families, the standard holiday parenting schedule put forth by New Jersey’s family courts is the best solution. In this schedule, a child’s parents alternate spending each holiday with the child every year.
But this is not the only option for your holiday parenting schedule. Depending on your child’s age, your proximity to your former partner’s home, your relationship with your former partner, and both families’ holiday traditions, another holiday custody arrangement may be better for you.
The arrangement described in the standard holiday parenting schedule above is an example of an alternating holiday schedule, which requires parents to take turns spending each holiday with their child from year to year.
Another option for families is to work with the court to set up a set holiday schedule which designates that the child spend certain holidays with each parent every year. For example, a family might opt to have the child spend Mother’s Day with his or her mother each year and Father’s Day every year with his or her father.
If the child’s parents live fairly close to each other, splitting the holidays can be a viable option. With this type of arrangement, the child sees both parents on every holiday. An example of this type of arrangement may have the child spending the first half of the holiday with his or her mother, then the second half with his or her father on even years, then switching this to spend the first half with the father and the second half with the mother on odd years. This type of arrangement requires careful planning and communication between the child’s parents, but can ensure that the child spends time with each parent and his or her extended family for every holiday.
To learn more about child custody arrangements in New Jersey, contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at (732) 365-3299 to discuss your rights and obligations as a parent. We proudly serve families in Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer, and Burlington counties and will provide your family with the dedication and courteous, professional legal service that you deserve.