How Parents with Joint Custody Can Share Their Kids Over the Holidays

A few months ago, we wrote about modifying a holiday parenting plan. The end of the year winter holiday season is often the most exciting and chaotic time of the year, especially for parents. If you and a former spouse share custody of one or more children, you might be finding it difficult to make everyone feel included this holiday season.

Here are some suggestions for ways you can work around having multiple families to celebrate with this holiday season:

  • Schedule two celebrations in one day: For those who celebrate holidays like Christmas, this can be especially helpful if both sides of the family have their own unique traditions. Your child could spend half of the day with one parent and the other half with the other. It may take some planning, but if you coordinate with each other early enough, your child/children will likely be glad to spend the day with both parents.
  • Plan two get-togethers: One of the nice things about winter holidays like Christmas and Hannukah is that the festivities are often spread out. If your child can’t get together with both parents on the same day, you could plan parties or events for two separate days—such as hosting one on Christmas Eve and another Christmas Day, for instance.
  • Set up a virtual meeting: Sometimes it can be hard for everyone to get together at once. Your former spouse may have to work on holidays, live far away, or be forced to stay at home due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the reason, if you can’t all come together this holiday season, try to incorporate the missing family member somehow. Set up a video or phone call, have them record a video message, open any gits they sent with your kids, and/or read a letter they wrote to your child out loud.
  • Spend the holidays together: While this solution won’t work for everyone, if you are on relatively good terms with your ex-spouse it might be easiest just to celebrate together this holiday season. It could help to invite other friends and family members of both parents over as well so that each of you has someone else to interact with other than your previous partner. Though for some former couples this type of celebration may never be in the cards, others might find that it’s not as hard to spend time together as they might think.

Figuring out a schedule that works for everyone can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. When in doubt, it may help to speak with your children about what they want, or at least to try putting yourself in their shoes. By working with your ex-spouse and coming together to focus on your child’s wellbeing, you just may be able to come up with a fun and amicable solution that will make it far easier for everyone to enjoy the holidays.

If you are having trouble coming up with a holiday visitation plan everyone can agree to, feel free to reach out to our Salt Lake City law firm to book a free consultation. We can help you come up with a plan that works for you and your loved ones.