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A Simple Guide to Time-Sharing During the Holidays

As much as we all love the holiday season, we also know it is a busy and hectic season. The holiday season means traveling, family visits, shopping, cooking, and parties—especially if children are involved.

Divorced ParentsHowever, during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is important for families to come together despite their differences and make the season as enjoyable as possible for everyone.

Time-sharing during the holidays can be a contentious issue. No one wants to miss Christmas morning with their young children, but sometimes we have to set aside our own feelings. As with any other issue, the children’s best interests should come first.

By creating a time-sharing agreement that clearly defines each parent’s holiday schedule should help lessen your angst and can even help to alleviate some of the hectic holiday stress.

Follow the Plan!

Like all agreements, parenting plans and time-sharing agreements are documents that outline a schedule for each parent. For example, Dad will bring the children to Mom’s house by 1:00 p.m. on Christmas day, or Mom will make sure the children get to Dad’s by 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

While it is ALWAYS good to be flexible when working with your co-parent in following a time-sharing schedule, both parties should always be on the same page to minimize any misunderstandings.

Some Things to Consider When Time-Sharing During the Holidays

When thinking about creating a time-sharing schedule during the holidays, you should take into consideration some or all of the following factors:

  • School vacation dates and how both parents can spend quality time with the children during this time off from school
  • Traditions that are important to each side of the family—such as religious services or traveling out of state to visit loved ones
  • Making the most out of the holidays with your children by creating special times on several different days – like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day
  • Keeping the shuttling of your kids to a minimum—especially when all they want to do is stay put and play with their toys from Santa
  • Create a schedule that alternates from year to year so that the holiday schedule is fair
  • Instead of insisting your co-parent drive the children to your house first thing Christmas morning, maybe consider an exchange time later in the day or maybe even the day after Christmas so that both parents can spend a good chunk of time with the kids – AND so that the kids can relax, knowing they will spend time with both parents. You can be sure your children will not mind celebrating two Christmases!

Remember: Holiday Schedule Trumps the Routine Schedule

It is important not to forget that the holiday schedule laid out in your parenting plan and time-sharing agreement trumps the routine day-to-day schedule.

Most importantly, no matter how you feel about your co-parent and his or her new family, you must rise above it all to ensure your children have the best holiday season possible!

How to make a 50/50 parenting plan work? Learn: https://www.mepfamilylaw.com/how-to-make-a-50-50-parenting-plan-work/

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