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Four tactics for custody around the holidays

As fall progresses and the holidays draw near, it's important for parents who are divorced and sharing custody of their children to have a plan in place. Without one, this can become one of the most stressful times of the year. A few common ways to split up the holidays include the following:

1. Use a schedule that alternates every other year. Your ex gets the kids for Christmas one year, for example, while you get them for Thanksgiving. Then you flip it the following year.

2. Divide the holiday itself. You will need to live near each other for this to work. Your kids could wake up on Christmas morning at your house, then head over to see your ex after lunch. You may have to alternate this, as well, if there is a half of the day you both want.

3. Have two holidays. Celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual day with your kids, for example, while your ex celebrates it on the closest weekend. Again, if you each want to see your kids on the real holiday, you may have to alternate.

4. Pick your holidays. Maybe it's very important to your ex to have the kids on Christmas day, but you actually like having a relaxing day off on your own. The kids go to your ex's for Christmas every year, while you know you always get them for Thanksgiving and New Years.

Obviously, personal preferences play into this, so no solution is right for everyone. It's just important to talk it over with your ex, consider adding the schedule to your parenting plan, and make sure your legal rights to see your children are respected.

Source: Custody X Change, "Making a Holiday Visitation Schedule," accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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