Donna Dougherty Law P.C.

Helpful tips for sharing parenting time during the holidays

Halloween is coming on Friday. If you are having parenting time difficulties that prevent you from having time with your child (or not being able to take them trick-or-treating), this may end up making the holiday season that much more difficult. Between school plays, family gatherings and seasonal events, some kids will have busy schedules. So there will be plenty of demands on their time.

So how do parents who can’t stand each other manage the expectations that come with the holidays? This post will provide a few tips.

Know what your legal rights are – For unmarried parents (particularly fathers) without a court order that details where the child will spend the holiday season, this is critical. Essentially, if no custody order exists, it is very difficult to enforce a parenting time.

Have a summit meeting – Getting together with your ex for a cup of coffee to talk about holiday parenting time may be as pleasant as a root canal, but it could set solid expectations for sharing parenting time during the holidays.

Learn what family members are doing – Learning about what family members will be doing for the holidays is key. The earlier you can solidify plans, the more likely you will be able to have the parenting time you desire.

Remember the past holiday season – If one parent (and their family) spent Labor Day with the child, or took them trick-or-treating, perhaps a rotation is in order. Most parenting plans call for parents to share holiday times; especially if they live in the same city. So if one family has Thanksgiving dinner in the early afternoon (for example) the other parent should be able to have the child over for dinner later in the day. 

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