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Holiday Parenting Time Schedules

What holidays do you celebrate and how do you enjoy them?  Your answer to this question has been influenced by your family, your culture, your spiritual beliefs, and your priorities – your answer to this question is as unique as you are, and the holiday parenting time schedule should be crafted with you and your children in mind. Our Fort Collins child custody attorneys can assist with crafting a holiday parenting time schedule to meet the needs of everyone involved.

Holiday traditions are beloved and celebrated by many families, and sharing your children with their other parent can be challenging around the holidays; however, with a holiday parenting time schedule that is crafted by a skilled attorney, the challenges can be reduced or avoided altogether to allow the parents and children the clarity and flexibility needed to meet the parent’s goals.

Most parenting plans contain a holiday parenting time schedule that supersedes regular parenting time and vacation parenting time.  The holiday schedule that will work best for you and your children will depend on the regular parenting time schedule that is selected, as regular parenting time can have designated days of the week while other parenting plans do not have the same days of the week with each parent each week.

Holidays that occur on the same day of the week are easy to plan for; it is a safe bet most people are going to overeat on the last Thursday in November.  Memorial and Labor Day always fall on a Monday, just as Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday.

Federally recognized holidays include: New Year’s Day, MLK, Inauguration Day (every four years), Washington’s Birthday (f/k/a President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Suggestions for Select Holidays

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day - while these holidays are some of the easiest to designate in many cases, blended families can encounter some challenges when designating these holidays.  Designating the entire weekend or just the Sunday are options to be considered.

Thanksgiving – it isn’t really just the Thursday for some families, don’t forget about Black Friday.  It is common for family members to travel around Thanksgiving, and for this reason, some parents wish to alternate Thanksgiving as a block of several days to celebrate this holiday over several days.

Christmas – it is more than just the day: Winter break from school, Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas should also be considered when determining an appropriate holiday schedule.  Some parents wish to share parenting time on Christmas day itself, while other parents enjoy alternating Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  Some parents wish to divide the winter break evenly, while other parents prefer to just carve out time for Christmas and follow the regular parenting time schedule.  Many parents want to have the opportunity to travel with their children around Christmas to visit family and friends, but a poorly drafted holiday schedule could make such travel impossible.

Memorial and Labor Day – some of the best Mondays of the year!  While veterans and union workers may have a strong preference to share these days with their children, many parents enjoy them both equally.  While alternating these holidays each year is common, some parents prefer to always share the same holiday with their children every year for planning purposes.

Birthdays – not just your child(ren)’s, but yours as well as anyone else who you would want your child to celebrate with (think about your parents and how much they love their grandchildren).


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