Holidays are, for most families, some of the best times of the year. This is especially true for young children unless their family is extremely poor, so they feel left out when compared to other children. Children and grownups alike look forward to spending time together, and as in the case of birthdays and December holidays look forward to the tradition of gift-giving.
But what happens when there is a divorce? How do children and parents share those special days? In many states, Florida included, when there are minor children (children from birth to age l8) involved, the state requires a parenting plant to be drawn up which will include timesharing. Timesharing tries to divide the number of days and overnights as evenly as possible between each parent. And, for most of the year, the arrangement agreed upon in the parenting plan and put into the final judgment is how children will spend their time between parents.
However, when it comes to holidays, there will be special arrangements made in the parenting plan to try to give minor children time with parents even if the holiday falls on a day when the “other parent” would normally have the child. Some of the holidays which fall in this category include birthdays, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Each parenting plan will have its own way of handling these special occasions but some of the ways this is done include:
- Parent has the child every other year for the entire holiday
- Each parent has the child for one half of the special day
- Holidays are divided, so, for example, one parent gets 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas while the other parent receives the birthday, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are usually given to the corresponding parent.
Unfortunately, holidays following a divorce are one of the sad outcomes of a failed marriage. Hopefully, parents will work together when designing the parenting plan to provide an arrangement as appropriate as possible for the ages of the children involved. Of course, as children age their needs change, so it may, as time goes on, be necessary to return to court to have a modification of the parenting plan in regards to how holidays are spent.
If you have questions regarding how to go about solving the holiday issue in a parenting plan, it is a good idea to consult a Family Law attorney. Attorney Grant Gisondo, a Family Law attorney, has been successfully serving clients for over a decade. If you live in Florida in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County or Washington DC or New York he can help. Attorney Gisondo offers a free, in-office, initial consultation where he will answer questions and share how he can help you achieve your desired outcomes. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and, for new clients, on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Please call his office at 561-530-4568 to make an appointment. You will be glad you did!