Child Custody on Holidays: What Parents Should Consider

By Fred Dunsing on September 12, 2019

A Christmas dinner with familyFairness in child custody means that parents each get to be active participants in the upbringing of a child. Part of what keep matters fair is dividing up custody during holidays. Special memories are made on these special days, and each parent ought to have a chance to bond with their child.

Attorneys Fred A. Dunsing, Lucy H. Deakins, and Joseph W. Galera have helped numerous divorced couples in the greater Denver, CO area make child custody arrangements for different holidays. We want to cover some basic considerations below.

Negotiating Holidays with Your Spouse

Before going to mediation or the court, it’s best to try to work out holiday arrangements with your spouse. This helps keep co-parenting amicable and avoids additional headaches and expense. There are plenty of ways to negotiate who gets the children on what holidays, and many of them keep custody matters fair.

Equal Division of Holidays

If you’re okay with a 50/50 split of holidays while co-parenting, try to divide up holidays throughout the year so you each get to spend equal time (or close to equal time) with your child. This makes sure you are both participants in your child’s upbringing and memories.

Dividing Part of Your Child’s Holiday with Your Spouse

If you and your spouse live in the same city or area, it may be possible to share a holiday. For example, you and your child may be able to spend the morning and part of the afternoon together on the Fourth of July while your spouse gets to be with your child in the evening, or vice versa.

This won’t work for all holidays, but it’s worth considering if it’s agreeable and convenient for everyone, including your child.

Consider Non-Holiday Custody Time

If one parent has custody of the children more than the other, the parent with less custody time could try to negotiate more time spent with their child during the holidays. This could also mean asking for more non-holiday time with the children if the other parent has extended holiday plans, such as a vacation or a getaway.

This is something our Denver lawyers may recommend to ensure one parent doesn’t feel left out in enjoying quality time with the children.

Swapping Holiday Schedules Each Year

If you have a set holiday schedule for one year, you may want to consider switching holidays or specific holidays the next year. This means your child gets to build memories with each parent on different holidays. Travel and vacation plans may alter this arrangement, but it’s another way to keep custody on holidays fair for the foreseeable future.

What If Disputes About Holidays Arise?

If a dispute with your spouses does arise, be sure to speak with your attorney about the issue. Your attorney may be able to help negotiate the dispute, or may recommend mediation or going to court.

Your child’s best interests will always be at the forefront of all discussions, whether it’s between attorneys, through a mediator, or in court. We are here to help.

Learn More About Child Custody Issues

For more information about child custody disputes and other matters related to divorces, be sure to contact Dunsing, Deakins & Galera, LLC. Our lawyers can be reached in Denver at (303) 758-8981 and in Avon at (970) 343-0023.

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