Divorcing parents work hard to draft a comprehensive parenting plan during the divorce process. This is a crucial document for child custody and visitation where parents can address issues such as where the custody exchange will take place, how the parents handle discipline and any preferred methods of communication. One main aspect of the parenting plan is the holiday schedule.
Parents must determine what holidays should be included in the schedule and how they are handled. Will the child spend Christmas Eve at one home and Christmas Day at the other? Will the parents alternate holidays each year? These are difficult strategies to develop. Unfortunately, the plan might ultimately need revisions.
Here are some common reasons to revise a holiday schedule:
- The child outgrows the original schedule and their needs have changed with maturation.
- One of the parents has relocated to make travel more of a challenge.
- The child requests a schedule change based on consistent, legitimate issues.
- One of the parents has experienced a significant financial or job-related change.
- One of the parents remarries.
Essentially, any significant life event will necessitate a revision. From relocation and new job opportunities to a new marriage and additional children, parents should be willing to adjust the holiday schedule in the parenting plan as needed.
A well-drafted parenting plan will offer solutions to numerous future child custody and visitation issues. Parents cannot identify every contingency that might appear years in advance. When they realize a revision is necessary, however, it is important to proceed quickly through the legal process rather than attempt to make alterations verbally.