Holidays are bittersweet for a family facing divorce. Celebrations are plenty, but the room somehow feels empty. Despite the abundance of food and stories, holidays turn out to be a peak season of volatile emotions. These special dates usually include Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, birthdays, and winter or summer breaks.
Without a court-ordered and approved parenting plan under the supervision of a legal representative, either spouse risks missing out on key details and being unable to spend these significant occasions with their child altogether.
Managing the holidays amid divorce
Florida’s parental time-sharing, or what other states refer to as child custody arrangements, encourages both parents to share an equal amount of time with their child, even post-divorce. Since there is no statutory law about how to structure time-sharing during the holidays, couples can exercise flexibility to establish a sense of stability for their child.
Depending on each party’s circumstances and child’s needs, they may work on the following formats:
- Alternate: This means one parent spends the holiday with their child this year and the other parent gets the following year.
- Split: If they find that they’d rather both have time each year with their child, they may divide the day by allocating a reasonable number of hours per party. One parent may spend the morning until early afternoon with their child, while the other may get the late afternoon until evening time.
- Fixed: Parents may also choose to permanently assign one parent for each holiday, depending on the traditions their child is familiar with.
Suppose a parent wishes to travel out-of-state with their child for a holiday vacation. In that case, they must properly notify the other party and provide detailed itineraries, emergency contact numbers and other supplemental information to avoid violating any term in the parenting plan.
Seasons of compromise
There is no better way to celebrate the holidays while enduring divorce than to compromise. But compromises may be vulnerable to abuse. Your legal team can protect your parental rights while guiding you to a fair agreement upholding your child’s best interests.