Child Custody

Primer on Holiday Exchange Schedules

The state of Missouri requires all divorced couples to devise a formal child custody and visitation schedule. This schedule should include how the former partners would like to divide parenting time over all major holidays.

These holidays often include but are not limited to the following:

  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah
  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Easter
  • Halloween
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Birthdays

What to Include on the Holiday Exchange Schedule

The terms of a holiday exchange schedule will vary depending on your unique family situation. Some people may refrain from altering the normal visitation schedule during the holidays, while the majority of people prefer to make special arrangements during this time. Parents who decide to create a holiday schedule should make the terms clear so there is no room for interpretation.

For example, many parents share holiday time by:

  1. Alternating Holidays

A popular form of holiday exchange is to alternate who has the children on a given holiday. For example, one parent could have the child on Easter one year while the other gets the child on that same holiday the next year.

  1. Keeping the Same Holidays

If a parent values a certain holiday above all others, they may wish to always spend time with their child on that holiday. For example, one parent may prefer to have their child on Easter, while the other may find it more important to see their child on Thanksgiving. When this is the case, it may be easiest to separate by holiday rather than by year.

  1. Splitting Holidays

Parents may wish to share every holiday by splitting the day in half between each of them. This can work especially well if the parents live close to each other. For instance, they could split the day evenly down the middle. Or, perhaps, one parent could have the child the night before the holiday and most of the morning of the holiday, while the other parent gets the child for the remainder of the actual holiday.

A Knowledgeable Child Custody Attorney

Are you seeking guidance in creating a holiday-related child custody schedule? Attorney Jay Galmiche can provide the solid foundation needed to create a holiday exchange schedule.

Call our firm today at (636) 552-4841 a complimentary consultation.

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