The supply chain is not the only thing that could put a damper on the holidays this year. Divorced parents will also need to navigate child custody arrangements during the holiday season. So while you make a point to get a few early gifts in case there is a supply chain back-up, it is also a good idea to review what custody time will look like during the holidays.
What does the court consider a holiday?
This may seem like an odd question, but parents may be surprised by what is considered a holiday when it comes to time with their children. Some holidays are clear, and parents may ask for a specific date. Christmas, for example, always falls on December 25. Other holidays may not occur on a set day, Chanukkah is a great example as the celebration starts and ends on a different date every year.
Ideally, parents who value certain holiday traditions and want to share those celebrations with their children will account for this within the divorce settlement agreement and child custody arrangement.
The options are almost endless — parents can negotiate to have children for certain holidays or agree to go every other year. Make sure to address all important holidays. In addition to Christmas and Chanukkah, consider whether it is important to have the children for Thanksgiving celebrations, Halloween, Labor or Memorial Day and even the first or last day of school. It may also be wise to take vacation schedules into account. Do you want the children during Spring Break or the first week of summer? If so, talk about it during divorce negotiations.
As far as the court is concerned, the child custody arrangement will dictate the days you spend with your children. As such, whatever the agreement is, make sure it is in writing and included within the final paperwork.
What if we did not address the holidays during our divorce?
Those who did not include how holidays are handled during the divorce negotiations and are unable to come to an agreement on their own can reach out to the court for modification. If successful, this will result in a court order outlining who gets the children for which days.