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Options for Thanksgiving custody sharing

Thanksgiving is a holiday that often involves multiple generations of families. Therefore, it can be a particularly tricky one for divorced parents to schedule. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives on both sides of the family want to spend time with the children.

Fortunately, for most people, it's at least a four-day weekend. Therefore, if the parents still live within relatively close proximity, there are a number of ways that the weekend can be divided so that kids get to spend time with both parents and both sides of the family.

Several possible arrangements include:

-- One parent has the children from Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning, and the other takes them through the remainder of the weekend. The parent who gets the kids on the actual holiday can alternate each year.-- One parent has the children from Wednesday through midday Thanksgiving, and then the other one takes them for the remainder of the day. That way the kids spend the actual holiday with both families. They then go back to the other parent on Friday or Saturday for the remainder of the weekend. This works best if you and your ex live within close proximity of each other so the kids don't spend a large part of their holiday shuttling back and forth.-- Parents alternate years having the kids through the entire Thanksgiving weekend. This is often a choice for parents who live some distance apart, where air travel may be required. Often the parent who doesn't have the kids for Thanksgiving gets them for Christmas.

It's great if you and your ex have a healthy co-parenting relationship where you can work out a schedule, focusing on what's best for the kids, without conflict. However, many parents still find it helpful to have this and other holiday custody schedules codified in the custody agreement. Your family law attorney can provide guidance as you draw up your agreement.

Source: Custody X Change, "Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule Ideas," accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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