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Parenting Plans and the Holidays – Creating Visitation Schedules that are Easy on the Kids

Coming up with a schedule for who gets the kids on Thanksgiving and Christmas can seem really hard. This is especially true when the children are really young. Many parents can’t imagine their children waking up on Christmas morning without them. Nor can they imagine having Thanksgiving dinner without them or not being able to join them for trick-or-treating. The holidays are special times for parents and children, and the issue of who will get to see the kids on the holidays (and what times) can become especially contentious.

But it is in everyone’s best interest to create a holiday schedule that is easy on the kids. Divorce and separation is already stressful for children, and dealing with that fighting on what is supposed to be a special day just makes things worse for them. Parents should always work together to do what is in the best interests of the children – even if it means that holidays will look a little different from what they expected.

I’ve been a Franklin divorce lawyer for a long time, and I’ve helped many clients put together parenting plans with holiday schedules that meet the needs of all parties involved, but especially the children. A few of the most common ways my clients have arranged holiday schedules include:

I typically don’t recommend that you split the holiday. It’s too rushed to shuttle kids from house to house on Christmas, and it’s too much to expect them to eat a big meal on Thanksgiving twice. Trying to split that short amount of time can just make things more stressful for everyone.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and if every couple was able to make these decisions together or to spend time together amicably, there wouldn’t be a need for divorce lawyers. If you and your ex are having trouble agreeing on a holiday schedule, I can help. I am Judy A. Oxford, Franklin family law attorney, with more than 30 years experience on your side. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 or use the secure online form to schedule a free consultation. I help you negotiate a visitation schedule, or litigate the case on your behalf. Call me today to learn about your legal options.