Does Our Holiday Schedule Trump Our Regular Visitation Schedule?

Short answer, yes.

It is not uncommon for co-parents to get confused or have questions regarding the holiday schedule and how it is implemented.
Everyone’s visitation and holiday schedule is different and there are different terms that may apply in each case. Make sure that you read through your court order to determine how your holiday schedule impacts your regular visitation schedule. The examples below may not be exactly what your court order is, however, it is a common example of how the holiday schedule impacts a regular visitation schedule.

For demonstration purposes, let’s assume that two parents have the following regular visitation schedule.
-Father has every Monday and Tuesday with the exchange taking place on Wednesday morning at school.
-Mother has every Wednesday and Thursday with exchanges taking place on Friday mornings at school.
-The parents alternate every other weekend which is Friday AM through Monday AM.
Note: It is best to have set times for the exchanges in your regular visitation schedule.

Throughout the year the parents will follow this schedule week after week. When a holiday approaches, the holiday schedule will take priority. When the holiday is over, the parties resume to the regular schedule as it was already occurring and is already set out.

For example, let’s say that 4th of July falls on a Tuesday and it is Mother’s year to have the children on 4th of July. Let’s also presume that 4th of July is defined as July 4th at 9:00 a.m. until July 5th at 9:00 a.m.
In our example above, Tuesday is normally Father’s day to have the children. Father will have the children for his normal Monday visitation, and will have the children until the set 4th of July holiday schedule outlines when Mother will have the children. Pursuant to our example, Mother will have the children on July 4th at 9:00 a.m. and will have them until the next day at 9:00 a.m., at which time the normal schedule will continued to be followed.

In our example above, Wednesday is Mother’s normal visitation day and therefore Mother would keep the children after the 4th of July holiday and resume her regular visitation.
If 4th of July was on Monday, Father’s time, Mother would have the children from Monday at 9:00 a.m. until Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. at which time Father would continue his normal visitation and the children would go with Mother on Wednesday as normal.

Let’s presume that you alternate weekends and your holiday time falls on the other parent’s normal weekend. You will have your holiday time, however, the weekend time does not now switch the weekend alternation schedule. You simply go back to the regular schedule you had prior to the holiday. This means that a parent may end up with two weekends in a row (their normal weekend and yours because it was their holiday time). The parent that didn’t have two weekends does not now get two weekends in a row, you simply go back to your normal parenting time.

It may help to have a calendar marked for the year with your regular schedule. Once you have the regular schedule on your calendar, now go through and add in the holiday schedule. This will allow you to overlay the holiday schedule on top of the regular schedule so that you don’t start to get confused on whose day or weekend it should be after a holiday.

If you need help with your holiday visitation schedule, please contact Sara S. Thompson, a Roseville Child visitation attorney.

Law Office of Sara S. Thompson, PC
1624 Santa Clara Drive, Suite 120
Roseville, CA 95661
www.sthompson-law.com

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