How Do I Split Custody Over The Holidays?

How Do I Split Custody Over The Holidays?

Trying to figure out holiday plans is always difficult, but if you have to factor in splitting custody of your child with your ex-spouse, it can make the situation even more of a hassle. But it doesn’t have to be this way, establishing a plan for holiday arrangements is a good idea that allows the child to spend time with both parents and will ensure that everyone wins.

But how do you go about creating a parenting schedule for special occasions? Let’s take a look at a few specific holidays.

How are Holidays Split for Custody?

Since Christmas is right around the corner, let’s dive into that. How many parents who have joint custody split this time is by looking when their child gets out of school for winter break and going from there.

For example, if your child gets out of school on the 18th of December, the first parent can take the child until Christmas Eve and the other parent can have custody of the child from Christmas Day through to New Year’s Day.

Obviously, this is just one example and many people will have different ways to break this up. For instance, the first parent may want to keep the child through Christmas and have the second parent get them on the 26th. Or, you could also alter this schedule based on other holidays. For instance, if both parents are finding it difficult to decide who will have custody on Christmas Day, you can factor in alternate holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and even spring break and summer break.

Overall, there are a lot of ways that you can split up custody for the holidays, it is important to work together to determine what will work best for each other.


What is the Best Way to Split Custody During Holidays?

Unfortunately, there is no “best” option. What works for some families may not work for others. The best thing you can do to better understand your specific situation is to talk and listen. 

Work together to create a schedule that you can use each year to make the process easier to determine.

How to Split Holidays When Parents Live in 2 Different States?

Now obviously, if the parents live in two different states, this can complicate things. However, if you work together to sit down and talk custody through, you can create a long-distance parenting plan that works for both of you and the child.

Make sure to factor in travel time into the schedule as well.

How Do You Co-Parent During the Holidays?

Remember, this is still a team effort to provide your child with the best life possible. If you aren’t sure how to co-parent during the holiday season, the best thing you can do is get together, talk, and set expectations. 

For example, you can coordinate on gifts so that one parent doesn’t overshadow the other with gifts. You can also take this time to discuss holiday traditions and what you want to establish in their lives at this point in time. The most effective way to co-parent properly is to have an proper line of communication.

Tips for Creating a Parenting Agreement for the Holidays

If you are looking to create a plan to split holiday time and aren’t sure where to start, take some time to look over a few of these tips.


It can be easy to get worked up and heated about wanting to spend time with your child, but just remember to put yourself in each other’s shoes and understand that you both want what is best for the child at the end of the day. 

Ask Your Child

It is important to remember that your kid probably has opinions on all of this too. While the ultimate decision-making will be done by the parents, you should still talk to your son or daughter about what they want, if they want to travel a lot for the holidays, and more to make the best decision possible.


It’s important to understand that you may not always get what you want. That said, you can still work out some compromises. For example, if you can’t decide who will have custody on Christmas Day, allow them to have it this year and inform them that you will have custody next year on Christmas Day. Working together will make the situation easier to handle.

Make Your Own Parenting Custody Calendar [2023]

Click here to make a copy of your very own 2023 custody calendar.

Get Family Law Help at Hart Ginney LLP

Obviously, child custody can be complex and if you are dealing with problems are looking into things like spousal support, divorce, or child custody, it can be best to seek the help of a family law attorney.

Our team at Hart Ginney LLP is here to help you make the best decisions moving forward, contact us today to set up a consultation.

To speak with an attorney, please call us at (510) 628-0250 or fill out the form.