Holidays and Your Custody Agreement
When parents are no longer together, figuring out who your child or children spend time with during certain holidays can be extremely difficult. Some families are able to come up with a Holiday Schedule on their own, but many are unable to agree, because each parent wants to spend time with the children at specific times.
If parents aren't able to reach a resolution on their own, our courts have devised "Holidays and Special Days" Calendars. These calendars are meant to ensure that holidays are shared between the parties so that the children get to spend time with BOTH parents in an even amount, and alternating through the years.
Below is an example holiday schedule. Most counties have the same or extremely similar schedules. This can give you an idea of how Courts expect parents to rotate holidays and communicate with regards to other special days.
The holiday schedule overrides regular parenting time with the child. So for example, if Father would usually have the child on Tuesday, but Tuesday is Mother's birthday, then the child will be with Mother for the time allotted on the holiday schedule. A lot times, one parent will get upset because they think they are "losing their time" because of the holiday schedule overriding the regular schedule. But it's important to remember that you will be utilizing these schedules for years to come, and there will be times when EACH parent will appear to get the benefit or "gain time". Over the course of the childhood, this should all even out so that no one parent benefits more from these holiday schedules.
NEW JERSEY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE
HOLIDAYS and SPECIAL DAYS
(To be followed unless parties agree, in writing, to modify)
The following holidays shall be alternated between the parties each year.
Unless otherwise indicated, those holidays shall run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
YEARS YEARS HOLIDAYS_____________________
Father Mother New Year’s Eve, Dec 31st, 6:00 p.m. to January 1st at noon.
Mother Father New Year’s Day, January 1st, noon to 6:00 p.m.
Father Mother Martin Luther King Day (unless child is in school)
Mother Father President’s Day
Father Mother Good Friday, 10:00 a.m. to Easter Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
Mother Father Easter Saturday, 4:00 p.m. to Easter Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Father Mother Memorial Day
Mother Father July 4th
Father Mother Labor Day
Mother Father Columbus Day
Father Mother Thanksgiving Day
Mother Father Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th, at 6:00 p.m. until Dec. 25th at noon
Father Mother Christmas Day, Dec. 25th at noon to Dec. 26 at 6:00 p.m.
Father’s Birthday day to Father (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., if it falls on a school day).
Mother’s Birthday to Mother (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., if it falls on a school day).
Mother’s Day to Mother
Father’s Day to Father
Child’s Birthday to be alternated
Halloween (trick or treat) – Each parent shall have the child(ren) for trick or treat purposes as scheduled in their community. If the parents live in the same community or if the communities have designated the same date and time for trick or treat, then the parents shall alternate on a year by year basis, with Father having child(ren) on odd years and Mother having child(ren) on even years.
JEWISH HOLIDAY (If Applicable)
Mother Father Rosh Hashanah
Father Mother Yom Kippur
Father Mother Chanukah – First Night (remaining 7 nights to alternate between Parents)
Mother Father Passover – First Night (with other parent having the second night).
Father Mother Succoth – the first two days thereof and the last two days thereof
Mother Father Purim
Father Mother Shavuot – odd year Father has 1st day, even year Mother has 1st day