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Who gets the kids for the holidays in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Child Custody

With the holidays approaching, you have a lot to take care of and arrange for your kids. You need to find the right presents and budget so that you can afford them. You need to communicate with family members about holiday get-togethers and the menu at such celebrations.

When you share custody of your children, there is an additional layer of complication for holiday preparations. Specifically, you also have to coordinate with your ex and share parenting time on holidays and similar special days.

Who gets to spend the different holidays with your children in a shared custody arrangement?

Your parenting plan specifically addresses holidays

Holidays are such a crucial part of successful California parenting plans that there is a special standard form used by the state to clarify holiday custody arrangements. The form lists all major national holidays, as well as the birthdays for the parents and the children. The family could add other meaningful holidays and celebrations, such as religious holidays, to their parenting plan in addition to the standard dates already included.

If there are certain holidays that matter to one parent but not the other because of religious observances or cultural differences, parents can also arrange for one parent to have this specific holiday every year. Parents only have to share, alternate or divide the holidays that they would both prefer to spend with the children.

The court will usually divide or alternate holidays if parents cannot reach their own arrangement, but the two of you can potentially agree to any specific holiday schedule that you think would work well for your family.

Considering the major custody issues ahead of time helps

If you spend some time thinking about what would be appropriate and good for the children, then you may be in a better place to discuss custody with your ex in negotiations or mediation. You can also present more viable suggestions to a judge when you have tried to consider what would be in your children’s best interests for different custody issues, like the division of holidays and other special events for your family.

Educating yourself about how shared custody works in California will make it easier for you to secure beneficial custody arrangements.