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What do I need to know about holiday child custody?

The Christmas holidays are difficult for parents who are divorced and the children who are impacted by it. This is especially true if this is the first Christmas since the divorce because it might be a season of trial and error.

Even though it seems like the holidays are still far off, they really aren't. There is just a little over two months until Christmas Day. This doesn't leave much time to hash out the issues between you and your ex regarding when the children will be where.

How do we decide when the children will be where?

In many cases, the holiday schedule is included in the child custody order. This will let you know when the children will spend time with each parent. These orders can range from very specific ones that include dates and times, but other orders offer some flexibility.

You need to find out what the child custody order says and then go from there. If the schedule is flexible for your children, you and your ex will likely have to negotiate some to determine when the children will be where.

What happens on short school days and holidays?

This should also be covered in the child custody order, but there is another element to think about here. If your child needs to be cared for, you will have to determine who will provide this care. By planning early, you can find day care or a babysitter without having to worry about this day before you need the child care.

There might be times when things have to change a bit from the child custody order. If you and your ex can work together to make decisions about these issues, you might find that the holiday is a bit less stressful.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Holidays, Parenting Time Trades, and Half-Days, Oh My!," accessed Oct. 27, 2017

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