Holliday TIme...who gets when???

[deleted account] ( 15 moms have responded )

Could some of you please share with me how you split up the Holidays between families...my husband is having a hard time coming to an equal arrangement with his ex...We have full custody of his daughter because her mom left her when she was 4 months old to run off and get married to some guy in Virginia and moved back home (Kansas) a year later had had not seen her daughter during that whole time period...my husband wants her to see her as little as possible but the lawyers say they need a shared agreement between the two of them or it will go to court...please share your ideas with me to pass along...thanks so much!


Nicole - posted on 09/10/2009




We do every other year for big holidays. Who ever has Thanksgiving and New years for the year, the other has Chirstmas Eve and Christmas. Then vise versa the next year. We get Memorial weekend every year and she gets Labor Day weekend. She gets Mothers Day and we get Fathers Day. (I hate that one because I'm just as much Mom to them as she is, but what can I do) School breaks are split equally by over nights. Hope this helps. We have a school schedule to if you wanted that and it's worked now for 5 years.

Betty - posted on 09/07/2009




My husband get's every other holiday and it switches every year so last year we got her for a long Thanksgiving holiday and this year we get her for Christmas. On Father's day she is always with her dad. On Mother's day she is always with her mom. For some reason Halloween is a shared holiday.


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Jessica - posted on 09/11/2009




We have sole custody of my SD and the holiday visitations goes as follows:

1) this Christmas she is with us from the last day of school until Christmas Day at noon. She gets picked up by her mom, and stays for whatever is half of the school vacation. Next year it reverses, and we get her at noon Christmas Day.

2) She visits her mom every second weekend, so we always arrange that her weekend falls on Mother's Day, her brother's birthday, and Halloween (if it is her turn, we alternate this holiday).

3) Whoever has her for the weekend of Thanksgiving, or Easter, celebrates that holiday on the Sunday, and then the other parent has her and celebrates the holiday on the Monday. It works this way when her BM has her, but when we have her, BM usually doesn't bother to come get her for the holiday Monday.

4) We don't alternate her birthday. We just let the weekends fall, and celebrate on whatever weekend we have that's closest.

5) BM takes her for one full week each month of summer vacation, and then we continue to follow the "every other weekend" schedule for the remainder of the summer. In the end, BM gets her for one full week, and one weekend each month over the vacation.

Hope this helps!

Heidi - posted on 09/11/2009




Well in our house my ss doesn't see his mom at all(her choice) he is now 18. At first we would have him on Christmas Eve and she would come Christmas Day at noon for him and bring him back at noon on Boxing Day. As for Thanksgiving, and Easter, we celebrate on the Saturday of the weekend with my husbands side of the family and then my ss would go on the Sunday with his moms side, but like I said that hasn't happened in a few years now. I also have an arrangement with my ex in regards to my bioson, but my ex doesn't go by it at all. My son should be with his dad on Christmas Day from 8am till noon on Boxing Day(has never happened) he is suppose to have my son on Fathers Day as well(never happend) and as for the other holidays, well he has never come for those either. Its been almost 10 years that I have been having to deal with that.

Although your husband doesn't want for his daughter to see her mother often, she does have the right, whether you agree with it or not. She is her mother. When your stepdaughter is 12(thats the age here in Ontario) then she can decide for herself if she ever wants to see her mother again. I know where your husband is coming from, but trust me its easier on the child if the parents can come to an aggreement outside of court.

Lynda - posted on 09/11/2009




We share holidays....and do the every other year thing....

as in odd years we get them Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and then they go to bm Christmas afternoon....and even years they are w/bm CE and CM and then come to our house....we also work together and let them attend both sides of the family's events.....

Charity - posted on 09/08/2009




Here in TN the standard state visitation schedule is even/odd. One parent gets the child for every holiday on even years and the other parent gets the child on odd years. The only exceptions are father's/mother's day, father's/mother's bdays. For most couples this works well. I have this same schedule with my ex, but we never follow it because even though my ex lives in the same state he works across country for months at a time and when he comes home I let him keep our children as much as he wants. Also in TN child support and visitation are seperate issuses and non payment is not a reason to refuse visitation, my ex is $30,000 behind. But I've learned to play nice because it has been to my advantage in court. In some states (if I understood your situation right) I would let it go to court, because abandonment is cause to loose all rights and any parent who has done this to their child dosen't deserve the tittle of parent or any of the rights

Kimberly - posted on 09/08/2009




Here's how my hubby and his ex have worked things out and it works very nicely for us.... there are two boys involved

* Mom has mothers day, dad has fathers day

* Some day overnight during the weekd of each parents birthday and their significant others birthdays as well

* odd year even year switch off on which parent was responsible for "throwing/hosting" the childs birthday party.

* odd year even year switch off for all other major holidays (New Years, Easter, 4th of July, Memorial/Labor Days, Thanksgiving, Halloween)

* Christmas eve with mom Christmas day with dad

Between you and her you need to figure out what will work out the best for both of you. Good luck!

Lucy - posted on 09/08/2009




If you have a decent working relationship with the bio, you can set up a permanent schedule and that way the children will come to know what to expect every year. If it is not needed due to problems with an ex, then everyone involved can compromise on a set schedule. For instance our county has it's fourth of july celebration a day before or after the city next to us where BD lives so we have always given him the actual fourth which has always been a big celebration for his family. I have always sewn their halloween costumes and they look forward to that so we get halloween and because his family is much larger and have a hunting tradition on thanksgiving morning, he gets them on Thanksgiving Thursday. We always have Thanksgiving later that weekend. (Turkeys are cheaper after the holiday too!!!) Easter has always been more important to me having grown up Catholic so we always get Easter. We used to rotate Christmas, but the first time it was his turn we were in a fix because we didn't want to make the children that we have together wait until after the others returned to have their Christmas. So we got them all together and explained that Santa called and said he had too many children that year and would they mind having Christmas a few days early (OF COURSE NOT!!!) We found out that there is an added bonus to doing it early.... there are no lines at the return isle, in case something is broken or not working, because everyone else is still shopping!!!! So while everyone else is standing in the return lines the day after and you are all done and nestled in playing games and drinking hot chocolate!!!! So for years the bio has had actual christmas and we have always told our kids they are the special ones that get to have it early! A couple of times since they have grown up and started their own families we have had it late, because they are young and struggling, they asked if we could have it in combination with a new years celebration so they could take advantage of after christmas sales! This also helps as they get get older because they will not only have the two original houses to think about but in laws as well (sometimes two sets of in laws if their spouse comes from a divorced family as well!!!). My point is this, the less you struggle with the exes the easier it is for the kids...... and if you can look honestly at where you are willing to compromise it may just come out better for you in the long run than you may have thought. If you do this and not just assume this is another area you are gonna have to fight, then you will also appear more flexible and more interested in the children's best interest in court!!

Angele - posted on 09/08/2009




We do alternating holidays. Once the children got old enough to voice thier opinion, they get to go where they want except Christmas(they have to visit both families). Once they turn 18, it is thier decision all away around.

[deleted account]

So I was rereading my earlier post and realized a lot of our schedule wasn't in there. We have a more confusing one than some people, but that's because my daughter's school is on a year-round schedule. this means she has 3 months in school and 1 month off, followed by 3 more months in and 1 month off (3 rotations per school year). She started school in the middle of July and her first month off is coming up in October. There is no Spring break and Winter vacation is only a week and a half long (half day Dec 23rd and back on Jan 4th).

Since her bm lives over 1600 miles away, we have majority custody. We do not have to share weekends and we cannot have an EOW schedule. Her bm refuses to move back out here (even though we have offered to try to help her multiple times), so she only has her daughter for about 8 weeks out of every year.

Here is our schedule in a nutshell: bm gets: 1/2 of every vacation (2 weeks from the first 2 and 3 weeks from the last one since the last one is 6 weeks long for summer), every-other major holiday (thanksgiving and x-mas) and one 3-day weekend of her choosing as long as she gives us at least 2 weeks advance warning (and she is not allowed to take our daughter out of school for this weekend, it has to be a school holiday weekend).

So this school year she is supposed to get: the second half of October, winter break, the second half of February, and the first half of summer, plus her 3-day weekend if she chooses to take it. We have our daughter all other times, plus we have our 2 bio daighters too (I treat them all as mine though and we don't use the word "step" in our house).

Obviously we can't do any other visitation schedule as the bm lives so far away. She was actually pushing to get ALL the vacation months from school (all 4 weeks), but we went to mediation to get her to undersand that just wasn't fair to our family. She still thinks I am "stealing" her daughter, but she's the one that left in the first place and she's the one that refuses to come back, so that is the schedule she has to live with. And in all honesty, she may not even get what she's supposed to because she hasn't paid any child support. It was supposed to start in July and we have not seen anything from her. If she tries to come get our daughter for visitation now we don't have to let her and we can take her back to court for non-payment and near abandonment (she hadn't called in 3 months until Friday when she called at 9:50 pm [11:50 pm her time] to wish her daughter a happy birthday).

So, back on subject... I would say every-other holiday is probably best as it gives all parties equal time in the end. If you guys live near bm splitting individual days like x-mas (like Megan said) might be a good idea too. That way everyone gets to see their daughter for the holiday and no one gets left out. Good luck!

Christina - posted on 09/07/2009




I think that if you split it up every other year that works. Odd years you get thanksgiving and say 4th of July, and even years you get Christmas and Easter. Something along those lines. You can also do a google search for sample custody agreements, those have ideas in them as well.

Betty - posted on 09/07/2009




We had Labor day but gave it up so BM could do something with her that was time sensitive. We had her all weekend anyway.

[deleted account]

My SD is 6 and lives 8 hours away. For her first few years of life hubby would only see her when BM allowed him to. When we met I told him he needed to go to court and get things officially established. This started 2 years ago. BM wouldn't agree with our proposed schedule so we went to court. The judge ruled in our favor but it was because of how we proposed everything. We have things organized by school year and as a gradual release since hubby wasn't a strong part of SD's life at first. We see her once a month but in the state where she lives for a weekend visit. The first year we were to have her three days over Christmas, her week of Spring Break and were supposed to have her four days in June, July, and August (long story on why we didn't.. for another day) This school year we have her for four days of her Thanksgiving break, the week of New Year's and then a week with her in June, July, and August. For her next school year we'll have her for the week of Christmas, the week of her Spring Break, and then two weeks at the beginning and end of the summer. The following year the holidays rotate but we then move to three weeks at the beginning and end of the summer. After this we will move to 6 weeks consecutively in the summer.

My sister-in-law and her daughter's father live in our city and she gets her daughter every Wednesday night then every other weekend. I would advise you and your hubby to come up with a similar plan and give her time with SD gradually since BM hasn't been a part of SD's life. Be very specific in what you ask for and split EVERY holiday: President's Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, her birthday (odd, even yrs who gets her on that day) all holidays where you may get a three day weekend.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

we do christmas and thanksgiving (our daughter's school does not have a spring break) and we do every-other holidy - for example: this year we get thanksgiving and bm gets x-mas, and next year we get x-mas and bm gets thanksgiving.

Megan - posted on 09/07/2009




One way to do it is to split holidays equally. For example, in odd numbered years father shall have children from the time they get out of school for Christmas holidays until 2:00 Christmas Day. Then mother gets them for the rest of school holiday. On even numbered years it is the opposite ETc. We switch off every other year for Spring Break, Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. We split summer down the middle. Half with mom, half with dad. We don't split it like we have them for 6 weeks and she has them for 6 weeks straight. We do it based on summer activities.

Dad has kids for Father's Day. Mom has kids for Mothers Day. Something like that. I think there is a standard fomat that may even be available on line. I would like to hear how other people do it.

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