Holiday Schedules and Custody

Holiday Schedules and Custody: How You and Your Ex Can Each Continue to Make Memories

One important issue that can sometimes be overlooked in working out a custodial schedule with your ex-spouse is where the children will spend holidays.  Oftentimes it’s not enough to simply put a schedule into place and let the birthdays, holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. fall where they may.  In Pennsylvania, Courts will address the issue of a holiday schedule in detail as part of the custody litigation process.  A typical Custody Order will cover the “major” holidays including New Year’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the children’s birthdays.  Needless to say, there are significant holidays that are not included in this list.  In addition, this list does not include school holidays like Winter Break and Spring Break where families often times may try and take a vacation.

You should work with your ex-spouse, either directly or through your attorneys, to put together a schedule each year whereby each parent gets to spend some of the “big” holidays and also some of the less-celebrated holidays with the children.  Where possible, be sure to make accommodations for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as each parent’s birthday.  Although each parent undoubtedly would prefer to have the children at their house for each holiday, keep in mind that your children deserve to celebrate holidays with both of their parents.  Make sure that your child can create warm holiday memories with each of their parents and not just with the same parent each year.

Similarly, you should work with your ex-spouse to plan for and accommodate vacations that may “interfere” with the default custody schedule.  Remember that if you expect to be able to take the children to the beach for the week, the Courts will want to see a willingness to allow for your ex to do the same.  Again, the children benefit from getting to spend extended periods of time with each of their parents having fun and relaxing.  Although the holidays may be a source of stress for divorced or separated spouses, that stress should not be put onto your children.

To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, click or call us at the Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C., at (610) 892-3877

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About the author

About Christopher Casserly

Chris joined the firm in 2013 after graduating from Villanova University School of Law. While at Villanova Chris focused on Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. In addition, he participated in the Villanova Law Civil Justice Clinic where he advocated for indigent clients facing custody issues. Prior to attending law school, Chris received his B.A. from Providence College where he studied English and French. Chris is a Supervising Attorney and Team Leader at LaMonaca Law. Chris was named a “Top Lawyer” in Family Law by Main Line Today in 2015 and 2017, as well as a Best Lawyer in the area of Adoption in the Delaware County Daily Times. He is a member of the American Bar Association Family Law Section, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Delaware County Bar Association, where he serves as chair of the Family Law Section’s Custody Committee. When he’s not advocating for his clients, Chris enjoys cooking, all things Seinfeld-related, and being at the shore with his family and their dog, Molly.