While the holiday season is touted as “the most wonderful time of the year,” it also can be stressful, especially if you’ve been through a divorce. You have to coordinate parenting time, adjust your schedule, and ensure that your children have a drama-free holiday.
When it comes to holiday parenting time, the goal is for you and your ex to agree on a plan that works for your family. But, absent an agreement, most parties follow the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG). The IPTG are very specific, as you might remember from this post. The IPTG also reference Christmas vacation, so if you and your ex celebrate other holidays, you should try to formulate an alternate schedule.
Here is some information to help you and your ex understand the IPTG.
Your children will spend half of their Christmas vacation with you and half of their vacation with your ex. (If your child is under the age of three, however, different rules apply.) Under IPTG, the first half of holiday parenting time begins two hours after your children are released from school. The second half ends at 6 p.m. the day before school resumes.
Parenting time also depends on whether it is an even-numbered year or an odd-numbered year. In even-numbered years, children spend the first half of their vacation with the custodial parent, and the second half with the non-custodial parent. The opposite is true for odd-numbered years.
If you are crafting your own holiday parenting time, make sure the schedule fairly divides, over a two-year period, the holidays you celebrate. This way, you and your ex will know what to do for both even-numbered and odd-numbered years.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Who spends Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the children depends on when those days fall during Christmas vacation, and which parent has custody of the children at that time. The parent whose holiday parenting time includes Christmas will be with the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning until noon. The children will then spend Christmas Day with the other parent, from noon until 9 p.m.
Remember, this schedule alternates year to year. So, under the IPTG, what would 2015—an odd-numbered year—look like?
If your ex is the non-custodial parent, then your children will spend the first half of their Christmas vacation with him or her. Your ex will have the children on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day until noon. From noon to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day, your children will spend time with you. After that, they will return to your ex’s house for the remainder of that parent’s holiday parenting time.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are no longer considered holidays under the IPTG, so the parent who has the children for the second half of their Christmas vacation normally will have both of these days.
And remember …
Holiday parenting time takes precedence over regular parenting time. If your child’s birthday falls on a holiday or during Christmas vacation, then the holiday takes precedence over your right to see your child on his or her birthday.
Also, if you or your ex plan to travel with the children over the holidays, make sure the plans do not interrupt or take away from each other’s parenting time.
Crafting your own holiday parenting time plan
If you and your ex do not wish to follow the IPTG, you can craft—before the divorce or paternity case is final—a specific holiday parenting time plan that works for you. For example, if your family traditionally celebrates the holiday on Christmas Eve, then an agreement could provide that your children spend Christmas Eve with you.
If you would like to talk about the IPTG, or are interested in assistance in preparing or modifying a parenting time schedule, contact Kisti Good Risse at 765-742-9066 or email@example.com.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.