Being able to spend more time with your children is definitely a win in any child custody situation. So, you need to have a visitation schedule that allows you to spend the time you want with your child. While you and the child’s other parent are negotiating holidays in the visitation schedule, there are some things you can do to increase the time you have with your children. Here are three ways to use holidays to create a better visitation schedule.
1. Get holidays not included in your regular visitation time. When you’re deciding what holidays you get to spend with the kids, look at your basic schedule and see what holidays already fall on times when you’re already with your kids. You then want to go for the holidays that aren’t in these times–because that will increase the time you have with your kids. And, when you’re negotiating, give the other parent the holidays that already fall in his/her time. Like, let’s say you look at the schedule and you don’t have the kids on the weekend of Labor Day. That’s a holiday you should go for. Then, you look at the calendar and see that your spouse already has the kids on Easter. You can give Easter, a big holiday, to your spouse and you don’t lose any time. This is one way to increase your time with your children.
2. Make the holidays last longer. Stretch out the time you have with the kids on the holidays. Instead of dropping them off to your ex’s house at 6, keep them until 8. Or, even better, arrange to have them spend the night and get dropped off in the morning. These little extensions of the time can end up being a big increase in the time you have with your children.
3. Don’t forget little holidays and school holidays. Include all the holidays you can in your visitation schedule–then you can get more days with your children. Plan some fun things for St. Patrick’s day and try to get that holiday. And, try to get more time when your child has a holiday from school. It makes sense to divide the school holidays between the parents too. Get as many of the little holidays as you can.
Doing these three little things when negotiating for holidays in your child visitation schedule can make a big difference in the amount of time you get to spend with your child. Be smart about scheduling holidays: get the ones not included in your regular visitation time, make the holidays last longer, and don’t forget the little holidays. Then go and enjoy the time you have with your child. This makes you a true winner in your custody case.