Pilka & Associates, P.A.
Full Service Law Firm for Tampa,
Brandon and Polk County
863-236-9321 |813-502-1097

Planning for equal holiday custody time in Florida

Holidays can serve as an awkward, rewarding or disappointing time while raising a child during divorce. They are times when families get together and bond over the nation’s annual traditions. When it comes to a divorced family, only one parent tends to experience those familial bonds on their few days off from work.

As we approach two of the most family-based holidays of the year, it is an important time for current and upcoming divorcees to review their child custody plans before Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive. Florida is one of the few states that has a high chance of providing equal custody time for both parents, so it is crucial to see when you will get to enjoy time with your kids on your days off.

Longer holiday weeks

Parents often split longer holidays that could last entire weeks in half. This primarily applies to the child’s summer vacation, the school’s spring break and winter break with Christmas and New Year’s. For Florida couples with equal custody over the child, most tend to alternate with two full weeks with their kid during the summer.

During winter and spring break, the parents alternate each year who gets the child for the first half of the week and who gets them for the second half. The court will likely require both parents to maintain close communication during this time to organize their weeks properly.

Holiday weekends

Individual holidays that extend the weekend by one day are organized differently. Weekends where the child gets Monday off allows one parent to have custody of them from 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:00 p.m. on Monday.

The parents balance out who gets what weekend during the year and switch the order the next year. For example, if your child spent Independence Day with you and Halloween with your ex, then next year they will watch fireworks with your ex and go trick-or-treating with you. Unless you married someone of the same gender, the only holidays that do not alternate custody time every year are Mother’s and Father’s Day.

If the court does grant equal custody time between both parents, you need to keep your ex up to date on the scheduling and be aware of what holidays you have during the year to avoid further conflict. While you may not be able to spend the same holidays with your kid every year, you can plan for biannual traditions to make those days all the more worthwhile.

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