A Guide to Manage the Holiday Season and Child Custody

December 3, 2021 | By Samantha J. Evian
  1. Remember your focus should be on the children and what is best for them. Even if it is not your ideal scenario, encourage them to have a wonderful holiday and to enjoy themselves.
  2. If there is a Custody Order or Agreement in place, follow the Order/Agreement. If you and your ex-spouse agree to deviate from the Order/Agreement, then no one will get involved. However, the Order/Agreement shall not be deviated from unless agreed to by both parties.
  3. When establishing an Agreement or setting forth your position for an Order, holidays and vacation schedules should be specifically addressed with details regarding pick-up times/drop-off times and any other details that are important to your family. How to divide holidays such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year, Easter, Fourth of July, Winter break, and Spring Break should be set forth in writing. Other holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Mothers and Father’s Day, the children’s birthdays, and others should also be detailed.
  4. It is important to coordinate and communicate with your ex to avoid chaos for your children. If there is no Order or Agreement or an emergency situation occurs, your attorneys and/or the Court can get involved to determine what is in the best interest of your children. Typically, the Court will Order that the holidays and vacations are alternated and divided equally. Ideally, the Court will not have to get involved so that you and your ex can determine what is best for your children.
  5. Remember to focus on the time have with your child/children and not what you do not have. Your happiness will make your kids happier.
  6. You can spend time with those you love around the holidays even if it is not on the specific date of the occasion. You can celebrate and recreate the occasion on a different day or time.
  7. Travel safely and in your children’s best interest. Follow State and Federal guidelines. Follow the wording in your Agreement and Order and coordinate with your ex. If coordination cannot occur, your attorneys or the Court can get involved to determine what is in the best interest of your children.
  8. Maintain old traditions (perhaps slightly differently) but also make new traditions that your children will enjoy and cherish.

If you have questions or need legal advice do not hesitate to contact an attorney who specializes in this area and can help you navigate legal and physical custody issues during the holiday season.

The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.

About the Authors

Samantha Evian

Samantha J. Evian


Samantha’s practice concentrates on family law exclusively. As an experienced divorce attorney, Samantha understands all aspects of matrimonial litigation and negotiation. She has extensive experience dealing with complex family law matters such...

Read More by Author