There is a hilarious Sienfeld episode where a character introduces a new holiday (for those that do not celebrate Christmas) during the christmas season " 'festivous', a holiday for the rest of us. "
When addressing parenting time, holiday parenting time is often not a laughing matter. Typically both parents want to spend time with family during the holiday season. In many circumstances, the parties cannot agree.
Two trends have developed in dividing holiday parenting time:
The first trend is "alternate the holiday." This allows each parent to exercise the entire holiday during a year. Using Christmas break as an example, in odd years the father would exercise parenting time during the entire break and in even years the mother would exercise parenting time during Christmas break.
The second trend is "sharing the holiday." This allows each parent to share the holiday. Once again, using Christmas break as an example, in odd years the father would exercise parenting time during Christmas break. The parenting time would begin on the last day of school and continue uninterrupted through Christmas day @ 10:00 a.m.. The mother would exercise parenting time from 10:00 a.m. Christmas day until the end of school recess.
All to often lawyers include language similar to "the parties shall share the holidays." This lack of attention to detail may result in unneccesary litigation if the parties no longer agree. What does "share the holidays" mean anyway? This can easily be avoided by simply adding the phrase: "unless otherwise agreed by the parties, holiday parenting time shall be as follows:", followed by a specific default holiday parenting schedule.
What about Festivous? (or labor day? or your birthday? etc.)
Attention to detail in the holiday parenting time Order can lead to emotional and financial savings in the future.
As an aside, I have added a link to my practice groups core values: Who are we? How do we live? What do we promise? Visit: http://thedivorceguy.com/commitment.html.