Holiday Parenting Time in Michigan

Holiday Parenting Time in Michigan

The holidays can be overwhelming for families that are divorced or in the process of getting a divorce.  While the holidays are traditionally spent as one family, after divorce, the holidays are typically celebrated in two different households sharing similar (or different) traditions.  While many Michigan divorce and Michigan custody cases contain a parenting time clause, the holiday schedule is often omitted and other times too vague.  Language like “the parties shall equally share the holidays” may sound fair, until both parties want to celebrate the same holiday at the same time.

I encourage parties in a Michigan divorce and Michigan custody case to allow for flexibility in parenting time.  However, it is also important to have a backup specific holiday parenting time schedule should a conflict arise.  Here are some considerations for sharing holiday parenting time in Michigan divorce and Michigan custody cases.

Holiday parenting time in Michigan tip #1:

Try to pair holidays together.

Memorial Day and Labor Day are similar holidays.  A common division of these holidays would be for the parties to alternate holidays so one parent is awarded Memorial Day and the other parent to be awarded Labor Day say in odd years and reverse the order in the following year.  However, school starts after Labor Day, so in other circumstances, one parent may want every Labor Day.  School breaks of similar duration can also be paired together such as February break and Easter break.

Holiday Parenting time in Michigan tip #2:

Holiday parenting time must supersede regular parenting time.

In most Michigan divorce and Michigan custody cases, the mother is always awarded Mother’s day and the father is always awarded Father’s day.  What happens if Mother’s day falls on dad’s weekend or vice versa?  Having a provision that provides holiday parenting time supersedes regular parenting time solves the problem.

 Holiday Parenting Time in Michigan tip #3

Christmas can be shared.  For many parents, not being able to open presents with your children on Christmas day is devastating.  This issue can be resolved with a parenting time exchange on Christmas morning.  Take the following example:  In odd years the father is awarded Christmas Eve through 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day and the mother is awarded 11:00 a.m. Christmas day through 11:00 a.m. December 26th.  In even years, the Mother is awarded Christmas Eve through 11:00 a.m. and the father is awarded Christmas Day through 11:00 a.m. December 26th.  This unique schedule provides both parents an opportunity to share Christmas morning with the children every year.  Every other year the child would spend Christmas Eve with each parent.

With proper planning and a specific holiday parenting time schedule in Michigan divorce and Michigan custody cases, conflicts during the holidays can be avoided allowing parents and children an opportunity to have one less thing to worry about.

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By:  Daniel Findling

 

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