Disputes between parents often arise over the division of holidays.  Having a set holiday schedule eliminates these disputes and allows each parent to enjoy the holiday time they have with their children.

Courts typically alternate many holidays from year to year between parents.  Certain holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, however,  are divided every year between parents.

When preparing a holiday schedule, the duration of the holiday time should be set forth with specificity, with beginning and end times along with provisions as to who will provide the transportation and where the child custody exchanges will occur.

A typical holiday schedule may look as follows:

Holiday Even Years Odd Years
6:00 P.M. Easter Eve until Easter Day 8:00 P.M. Mother Father
Father’s Day 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Always Father Always Father
Mother’s Day 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Always Mother Always Mother
Memorial Day 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Father Mother
July 3rd 6:00 P.M. to July 4th 8:00 P.M. Mother Father
Labor Day 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Father Mother
Thanksgiving Eve 6:00 P.M. to 1:00 PM Thanksgiving Day Father Mother
Thanksgiving Day 1:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Mother Father
Christmas Eve 1:00 P.M. to Christmas Day 1:00 P.M. Father Mother
Christmas Day 1:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Mother Father
New Year’s Eve 6:00 P.M. to New Year’s Day 1:00 P.M. Mother Father
New Year’s Day 1:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Father Mother

The parties can decide which holidays to include in the schedule and which holidays to exclude from the schedule.  For example, parents may want to consider whether they want to divide national holidays such as President’s Day or Martin Luther King Day and whether they want to divide religious holidays such as Passover or Kwanza.

Having an agreement as to the division of each holiday well in advance can help avoid disputes during the holiday which will cause turmoil and distress for the parents and the children alike.