The pros and cons of dividing custody at Christmas

The holidays are often a bit of a complicated time for divorced parents. For one thing, they may have been counting on the children’s school schedule to make their custody schedule work, and the children get to have a break. The holidays are also a special time for family, and so the custody schedule may be different than it would be the rest of the year.

Two of the main tactics that people use are simply switching back and forth every other year or dividing custody on the holidays themselves. If you don’t want to wait until next year to see your children, you may be in favor of this. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives that go with it.

The benefits

On the plus side, dividing the day in half means that the children do get to see both of their parents. You may not get to have Christmas morning with them, but they’ll be part of the day. Another benefit is that splitting the day up can help to reduce stress between you and your ex. Some parents will try to have joint Christmas celebrations so that they are both there, but this can just lead to arguments and disagreements. Splitting the day up may keep things civil and help everyone have fun.

The downsides

One of the downsides of doing this is simply that it means you have to see your ex on the holidays, which you may prefer to avoid. Another problem is that children may feel like they’re spending a lot of time in the car if there’s a long distance between your homes. Finally, even if you divide the day in half, that doesn’t guarantee you a certain time of day that you may have preferred – with Christmas morning being a prime example.

As you work out your custody situation this year, be sure you’re well aware of all of your legal rights. Don’t be afraid to seek help.