Divorced parents often rely on a comprehensive parenting plan to provide guidance and help them avoid unnecessary arguments. One crucial element of the parenting plan is the holiday schedule. While many parents are happy to simply make verbal agreements when a modification is necessary, it is wise to follow the legal process and ensure these revisions are in writing and enforceable.
Based on numerous factors, it might be necessary to make slight changes to the previously compromised holiday schedule. Whether this is to account for dramatic weather changes, selecting an acceptable neutral exchange location or listing approved proxies, it is important to work ahead of schedule. Many couples also decide to make alternate holiday plans, including:
- Divided holidays: It is not uncommon for divorced parents to decide that the child can spend the holiday with both of them through careful planning. This might entail splitting the holiday eve and day into two separate occurrences or spending the morning with one parent and evening with the other.
- Alternating holidays: Parents might decide that splitting the holiday is too much work and design a schedule of alternating holidays. For example, on even years, the child spends Christmas with dad. On odd years, the child spends Christmas with mom.
- Fixed holidays: As different holidays might be important to each parent, the former couple can introduce a fixed holiday schedule where each Christmas is spent with mom, for example, and Thanksgiving is spent with dad. This will alleviate any confusion and last-minute alterations.
These are decisions best planned in advance, however, as communication errors can lead to anger and frustration for both parties. It is wise to examine issues that might have cropped up in the past and work to avoid them in the future. By looking at their holiday schedule now, divorced parents can reduce future stress, confusion and worry.