As the end of the year approaches, Massachusetts’ families may be making their travel plans to visit loved ones during the holidays. Families that have been affected by separation and divorce may struggle this time of year as inevitably one parent in a co-parenting team may not be with their child or children on special days of celebration. How this division of time is established can vary from family to family.

Often, parents make decisions about holidays, birthdays, and other special times of the year when they create their co-parenting and child custody plans. Parents may decide to split holidays and alternate between them, or they may establish schedules that outline when during important days they will each have time with their kids. Parents who negotiate their own child custody plans through mediation and collaboration may be able to take control over the way their kids’ holiday custody plans are set up.

Litigation can also lead to holiday custody scheduling, but parents may be required to follow the plans set up by their divorce and family law courts. As with most matters related to the care of children, the best interests of the kids will be of great importance as decisions are made.

During the holidays, parents can feel the strain of distance when they are not with their kids on Christmas, Hanukkah, and other special days of celebration. When they have questions regarding how, when, and where they may see their kids, they can turn to their controlling divorce and custody documents for information. Their attorneys can also help them sort out any conflicts that may arise concerning the custody of their kids during the holidays.