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  • Michelle Kooy

Practical plans on splitting the winter holiday time

There are a few common ways that parents split parenting time over the winter holidays:


Split it down the middle: The first option is for parenting time to be split in half. This means that Parent A has the children for the first half of the winter break, and Parent B has the children for the second half. For families that celebrate Christmas, there is the option to have the transition occur at noon on Christmas day. This would allow Parent A to have the children for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, while Parent B will get the children for Christmas dinner and New Year’s. Some parents alternate this each year as well.


Keep the routine and share important days: The second option is for parents to keep their regular parenting schedule and just share the important holiday days. For example, if Christmas and New Years both fall on Parent A’s regular parenting days, then it might be decided that Parent B will get the children for Christmas dinner and will return them the following evening.


Travel plans: A third option is for one parent to have the children for the entire winter break, and the following year the other parent will have the children for the entire winter break. This is more commonly seen when the parents live in separate towns or have out of town families they like to visit. If considering this option, it can be helpful to plan to set aside time during important holidays, like Christmas, for the children to have a video call or phone call with the parent they are not staying with.

Your parenting schedule and holiday values will be unique to your family. Therefore, the following templates may not work well for your family or you are unable to agree on a schedule regarding parenting time over the holidays. If this happens, outside assistance can be helpful to resolve the dispute. A mediator or parenting coordinator can be hired to guide you in settling the dispute or, if necessary, a judge can make the decision for your family.


The lawyers at our firm can help you resolve disputes about parenting time over the winter holidays. Our lawyers can conduct mediations, act as a parenting coordinator for your family, attend mediations with you, provide coaching for you to mediation, provide legal advice, prepare court applications, and represent you in court.

Reach out today for a free appointment to find out how our firm can help you resolve disputes over parenting time.

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