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Fair child custody considerations during the holidays

For divorced parents in Massachusetts, the holidays can present a challenging dilemma in terms of who gets the children and when. Figuring out a schedule ahead of time will keep stress to a minimum for both the adults and the children, and allow for more fun and enjoyment for everyone.

The Huffington Post discusses putting together a parenting time plan so everyone knows what to expect. Depending on specific situations and how far apart the parents live, a time plan over the holidays may consist of split time or alternating years. Because it is easy to figure out and implement, alternating which years each parent has the kids for each holiday is a popular choice for both parents and the courts. However, for parents who live in close proximity and communicate in a constructive manner, splitting time and sharing each holiday may work.

Planning holiday custody can take a toll on parents and kids if flexibility is not allowed. For example, inclement weather may factor in to travel plans and one parent may have to wait a bit longer until the children arrive. When either splitting time or swapping years, parents should consider celebrating the holiday anyways, even if it does not match up with what the calendar says. Celebrating Christmas in the beginning or middle of December is still special for the kids and can result in a fun tradition. 

According to FindLaw, making a holiday custody schedule, or modifying a current one, can take place out of court. No one wants to spend this time of the year in a stuffy court room, so consider alternate options ahead of time.

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