One of the biggest points of contention that separated or divorcing parents often argue over is which parent will have custody of the children during the holidays. It can be difficult because the winter holiday season is so exciting for children, and many parents want to create special memories with their children. Things can get even more difficult when one parent wants to take the children somewhere for the holidays. Here are a few considerations to help you create a child custody holiday schedule.
Plan the Holiday Schedule Ahead of Time
To help ease the process, parents should plan out their child custody holiday schedule well in advance. In fact, when it comes to child custody arrangements, South Carolina family law requires parents to prepare a parenting plan. One of the things that is covered in a parenting plan is how custody will work between the parents.
When developing the child custody portion of your parenting plan, it is important to work with your child’s other parent to plan how custody will work on a day-to-day basis and how it will be handled in special situations like holidays or vacations. Many parents choose a two-pronged approach to developing their parenting plan, developing a normal custody arrangement and a special occasions arrangement.
Creating the Child Custody Schedule
When it comes to normal custody arrangements, parents usually choose to go with a simple division of the child’s time with their parents. One common arrangement is for the child to spend the school days with their mom and the weekends with their dad. Another common arrangement will follow some sort of pattern, like three days with mom then four days with dad, then four days with mom and three days with dad. For situations where one parent lives too far away to make weekly custody possible, the child might spend the school year with one parent and then the summer with the other.
When it comes to custody for special occasions, parents should try to divide up who gets the child for certain holidays and birthdays in advance. Custody for these special occasions should be scheduled in the parenting plan. It is not uncommon for parents to alternate custody every other year for special occasions. For instance, mom will have custody this Christmas, and dad will have custody next year.
Parenting plans also often involve the parents developing a protocol that they will follow for when they want to take the child on a special vacation. Usually parents agree to let one another know if they have plans to take the child on a vacation well in advance. Having the child custody holiday schedule planned out ahead of time will help to prevent disputes.
Get Help From a Charleston, SC Child Custody Attorney
If you are getting divorced or need assistance developing a parenting plan, get in touch with an experienced child custody lawyer in Charleston, SC. The lawyers at McCoy & Stokes, LLC are here to help.
Contact us today for a free consultation.