Holiday Time Sharing…Tis the Season

Tis the season to be jolly…so goes the famous Christmas Carol. The problem for so many families however is that this isn’t a season to be jolly but instead, a season of contention, fighting and fear. The problems that arise for many families is how to handle holiday time sharing. This season is the time we see so many “games” being played with time sharing. From not showing up on time, to uncomfortable exchanges in parking lots, the holidays offer many pitfalls when it comes to time sharing plans. Here are three tips to avoiding the problems that are associated with time sharing over the holidays.

  1. Get specifics. Too often parenting plans are too ambiguous so that there is too much room for argument and confusion. Go through your parenting plan and see where there could be confusions or misunderstandings. Does your parenting plan have exact days for exchanges (ie: the 3rd weekend of the month with the weekend beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m.)? Does your parenting plan have exact locations for exchanges? Does your parenting plan have language about “grace” period for exchanges. These issues, as well as others, can help you avoid the traditional problems of holiday time sharing.
  2. Communicate in writing. Not that you should always think of litigation when communicating but putting exchange of information in writing can avoid any confusion in the future. Too often we see parents who say that “they told me…” Of course, when confronted the exchange is often denied. Thus, putting communication in writing, especially about time sharing can avoid costly litigation.
  3. Be flexible. Consider some flexibility at this time of year. Holiday parties at work, with families and friends and at the school makes this time of year challenging when it comes to traditional time sharing. What you do for time sharing in March isn’t the same thing that you can expect in December. The holidays are a special time for you, the other parent and the child. Thus, consider some flexibility. However, that flexibility should be explicit and defined.

Consider these tips when it comes to holiday time sharing issues. If you want to protect yourself and your child this holiday season then contact the child custody experts at Justice Legal Group at 505-880-8737 or email us at