Scheduling Holidays with Children After Divorce

When parents divorce in Missouri, the law requires that parents draw up a parenting plan that includes a detailed schedule for all holidays, school vacations, birthdays and other special occasions.

Because holidays and special days don’t always fall within the regular visitation schedule, divorcing co-parents will need to be flexible. Major holidays can be shared or alternate years–Thanksgiving with dad this year and with mom next year, for example. Most children will want to spend their birthday with both parents, either together or separately. Kids should be able to see their mom on Mother’s Day and their dad on Father’s Day.

The holiday and vacation schedule should specify who is responsible for transporting the child and picking them up afterwards, what time they’ll be dropped off and picked up, where they will be, and how they can be contacted while they are away. Parents should think about how to handle any potential schedule changes, too. If holidays plans include travel, either domestic or international, additional arrangements and permissions may be needed. 

Having a court-approved pre-arranged visiting schedule helps parents and children avoid last-minute conflicts and cope with the understandable emotions that come with not being able to spend every special occasion together. Your divorce attorney can help if you’re struggling to come up with a holiday visitation schedule or parenting plan.

Remember, a good parenting plan is one that is in the best interests of the child, which includes giving the child ample, frequent time with both parents. The parents’ financial statuses, age and sex are not relevant. A judge will need to review and approve the parenting plan, including the visitation schedule. If parents fail to reach a reasonable agreement, the court will make the schedule for them.

With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact our team.