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How to share holidays in long-distance custody schedules

When one parent lives in one part of the country and the other parent lives in another part of the country, it can be difficult to organize child visitation due to the distance. However, by strategically sharing holidays and summer break, parents can ensure that the children get a chance to spend time with the parent who is far away.

Let's look at how parents might split up common holidays:

  • Three-day weekends: Every year, there are one-day holidays attached to a weekend, creating a three-day weekend. These are excellent opportunities for parents to send the child to the nonresidential parent for a visit. You might choose to send your child to the other parent for all three-day weekends or just some of them.
  • Spring and fall breaks: If your child gets a week off for fall or spring, you can use some or all of these breaks to send your child to visit the nonresidential parent.
  • Winter break and associated holidays: Some children receive a considerable amount of time off for winter and Christmas break. It may be an excellent idea to divide this time between yourself and the nonresidential parent.
  • Thanksgiving: Many parents choose to alternate who gets the child for Thanksgiving each year.
  • Video calls: In between holidays and three-day weekends, parents should create time so they can have regular video chats with their child over the internet.
  • Summer breaks and other vacations: Your child may be able to take other vacations from school that aren't listed above. He or she will also have extended summer breaks. The nonresidential parent might be able to spend a long period of time with his or her child, such as six to eight weeks, during the summer time. Nonresidential parents may also be given two to four weeks of other vacation time with the child annually.

A North Carolina family law attorney can assist parents in dividing up holidays between a long-distance nonresidental parent and the residential parent who has children most of the time.

Source: Custody X Change, "Long Distance Visitation Schedules," accessed Sep. 07, 2017

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