Holiday Parenting Plans

Holidays and Parenting Plans – ‘Tis the Season to Review Time Sharing Agreements

The holiday season is upon us, which means a lot of cheer, delicious food, and time spent with family and friends. But as great as the holidays may be, for separated or divorced parents, figuring out how time with a child will be shared over the holidays can be more stressful than pleasant. However, fighting about time sharing and child custody doesn’t have to define your holiday season; here are some tips for creating a time sharing agreement during the holiday season that works–

Reference Your Parenting Plan First

If you and your spouse divorced in Florida, there’s a very strong chance that at the time of separation, you created a parenting plan addressing time sharing of your child. In a Florida parenting plan, a section exists on holiday schedules, with parents have the options of selecting:

  1. Parents will adhere to the standard time sharing schedule, and no specific holiday time sharing schedule will apply;
  2. Parents will create a time sharing schedule for the holidays as they come up; or
  3. Parents will adhere to a schedule that they create for the holidays at the time of the parenting plan’s creation (separate from standard time sharing agreement).

If you selected the first or the third option, then you should stick to the schedule that was put in place. If you and your spouse selected the second option, then you will need to work together to create an arrangement you both agree with.

Review Your Time Sharing Options

If you and your child’s other parent will not be sharing time with your child in accordance with a predetermined schedule, then you should work together to create an arrangement specific for the holiday season. The best place to start is to review your time sharing options. Some options for sharing time with a child over the holiday season include:

  • Spending the holidays together. If you and your child’s other parent are on good terms, spending the holidays all together can be a great way to ensure that you both get plenty of time with your kid.
  • Trade holidays. Another option for parents who don’t want to spend the holidays with one another is to trade holidays. For example, parents may agree that one parent will have the child over Christmas, the other parent will have the child over Thanksgiving, etc.
  • Split holidays 50/50. Finally, a third option is to divvy up each holiday equally so that both parents have an opportunity to spend time with a child on a given holiday (i.e. one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening). Obviously, sharing time like this only works when parents live close enough to make transportation of the child possible.

Collaborate – Don’t Fight

Finally, whatever happens, try to collaborate and compromise when developing a time sharing agreement during the holidays, and avoid fighting. Remember, the holidays are about family, and you want to make sure your child’s needs–not your own–are prioritized.

Need Help?

If you need legal help in forming a parenting plan or holiday time sharing agreement, our experienced Florida family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. are here to guide you. To learn more about creating a parenting plan for the upcoming holiday season, call us today to schedule a consultation.