Holidays should be a time of joy for children without the worry of parents bickering over time-sharing. Let us guide you through the process of crafting a successful, stress-free co-parenting holiday schedule in Coral Gables.
As a child, you likely looked forward to a holiday as a time to spend with your family and get a break from school. But for families dealing with separation or divorce, the holidays can be tougher to navigate. Our family attorneys at Casais & Prias have seen it all and we are here to help you create a co-parenting holiday schedule in Coral Gables that works for both parents and children alike.
The best way to make a co-parenting holiday schedule work is to work together. We realize that divorces are not always amicable but if you can be civil with your former spouse, the easier it will be to work out a schedule.
Use A Mediator If Necessary
If you and your former spouse are unable to work together to draft a co-parenting holiday schedule in Coral Gables, consider bringing in a mediator. We can help you locate a professional who can act as a go-between for you and your former spouse.
Define Your Holidays
Not every holiday holds the same level of significance for everyone, so it is best to decide which holidays are most important to which parents. A great example is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. It makes the most sense to let the child spend Mother’s Day with mom and Father’s Day with dad.
Another example would be if the father has a big family Thanksgiving gathering every year, it might be more important for the child to spend that holiday with him.
Here is a list of holidays to take into consideration:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- Lincoln’s Birthday
- Presidents’ Day
- Spring Break
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Summer Break
- Father’s Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans’ Day
- Winter Break
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve
Also consider other family-centered occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and others. Some of these holidays are three-day weekends; others are extended periods away from school. You have many options in Florida for your co-parenting holiday schedule in Coral Gables, which we will review below.
Florida courts want parents to spend equal time with the child on holiday breaks. Ideally, the child would split all of their time 50/50, but we know that is not always possible with school and work schedules.
If you and your former spouse decide to alternate holidays, your child will spend a holiday with you one year and with their other parent the next year. For example, this year, your child will spend Thanksgiving with you and Christmas with your former spouse. Next year, your child will spend Christmas with you and Thanksgiving with your former spouse.
Split The Holiday
If a holiday is long enough, like Winter Break, for example, you can choose to split up the time your child spends with each parent. This gets more difficult if the break is short because it is not ideal to spend the majority of the holiday having your child travel between parents.
Have Two Holidays
This option works best for the more important holidays like birthdays or religious holidays. When each parent gets the opportunity to celebrate a holiday with their child, it can give the family time to make lasting memories without having to sacrifice that time every other year.
Assign Holidays To One Parent Or The Other
When a holiday is more significant to one parent, it makes sense to let the child spend that holiday with that parent. The best example of this type of arrangement is for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But if Thanksgiving is always more important to one parent than Christmas (and vice versa), you can arrange for the child to spend every Thanksgiving with one parent and every Christmas with the other.
Florida law allows for a great deal of flexibility when it comes to your co-parenting holiday schedule in Coral Gables. When you can work with your former spouse and split up your time as equally as possible, it will be best for your child. And when you need help, we are here. Contact our family attorneys with any questions.