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Sharing custody time on holidays

For divorced families, the holiday season can be difficult. Tensions between parents can often contribute to a toxic atmosphere that can spoil the festivities for all. Some might suggest that it is best to avoid such tension and only allow children to spend the holidays with one parent. Yet recent studies imply that line of thinking may be wrong. Research data shared by Time Magazine shows that kids who live and spend equal time with both parents report far fewer psychosomatic health problems than those who do not. 

Divorced parents are encouraged to develop a time sharing schedule that is agreeable to both sides. This should include details describing how custody should be shared during the holidays. If parents are unable to come to an agreement over holiday time on their own, the state will impose its own predetermined schedule. That schedule (as shared by the Palm Beach County Bar Association) is as follows: 

  • Winter break: The primary residential parent shall have custody for the first half of winter break in odd years and the second half in even years (vice-versa for the secondary residential parent).
  • Thanksgiving: Children shall spend the entire school break with the primary residential parent in even years, and with the secondary residential parent in odd years. 
  • Labor Day and President's Day weekends: Children shall spend the entire weekend with the primary residential parent in odd years, and with the secondary residential parent in even years. 
  • Memorial Day and Martin Luther King's Birthday weekends: Children shall spend the entire weekend with the primary residential parent in even years, and with the secondary residential parent in odd years. 

Children in divorced families shall spend Mother's and Father's Days with the parent the days are commemorating. 

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