In the midst of the holiday season, families across Illinois are planning how to spend time together during Christmas and New Year's. In addition to the vacations surrounding these days, there are plenty of other holidays and special days throughout the year that can be fought over by parents who are no longer married. Parenting plans are required by all Illinois couples who are divorced and have children. These legal plans must contain a parenting time schedule that is followed throughout the year. Also included in the parenting plan is how holidays will be spent between the two parents. The holiday parenting time schedule will usually supersede the normal parenting time schedule, so it is important for you and your ex to agree on one that works for you.
Examples of Holiday Parenting Schedules
There are a few ways that are commonly used to distribute holiday time amongst parents who are divorced. The Illinois Supreme Court has published a sample parenting plan that is accepted in all Illinois courts and provides more than one way to settle holiday parenting time issues. For simplicity, you can choose their premade holiday parenting plan, or you can determine which specific holidays each parent gets to spend with their child. Many parents choose to personalize their holiday parenting plan so they can create an arrangement that both parents agree on. Common holiday parenting time schedules include:
Alternating Years: One of the most common ways parents agree upon sharing holidays is by celebrating them on a rotating schedule. For example, if mom gets the kids for Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Halloween in even years, then dad gets to spend those holidays with the children in odd years. In such an arrangement, you are guaranteed to spend time with your child for almost every holiday on a semi-annual basis.
Split Holidays: Children may spend part of each holiday with both parents. This is a popular arrangement for many parents, especially those who want to spend time with their child on major holidays. Splitting holidays can be beneficial to both parents and children, because they get to spend time with everyone, but it can also mean they are not able to spend as much time together, and it can decrease the stability of the day.
Fixed Holidays: Certain holidays mean more to each parent. For example, it would make sense to dictate that the mom gets the child every Mother’s Day, and the dad gets the child every Father’s Day. Likewise, if a certain holiday is more important to one parent than the other, then it could be stated that the child will always spend that holiday with that parent. This type of arrangement is often selected by parents who have family or religious traditions tied to certain holidays.
A DuPage County Family Law Attorney Can Help
Depending on how well you and your ex are able to communicate and compromise with each other, determining a holiday parenting time schedule can either be extremely stressful or relatively simple. If you have questions or concerns about coming up with a holiday parenting time schedule, you should seek the help of a Wheaton, IL parenting time lawyer. At the Goostree Law Group, we can help you and your ex come up with a holiday schedule that is agreeable to everyone. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.