If you find yourself involved in a child custody case, whether in a divorce context or some other suit affecting the parent-child relationship, there are several issues to think about when crafting the holiday portion of your final order. The “standard” holidays contained in the Texas Family Code only cover Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the child’s birthday. Most people celebrate a lot more holidays than that!
When you are thinking about a settlement in a custody case, take the time to consider all holidays your family considers important. Is Halloween a big deal at your house? What about Easter? Does your religion celebrate other important holidays that the standard order does not include? Does your family have a special tradition surrounding the Fourth of July or Memorial Day? I often have clients who will alternate all of these important days, with one side having a particular holiday in even years and the other side having that holiday in odd years. Sometimes one parent’s family places more importance on certain holidays, while the other parent’s family places more importance on others. In those situations, the parent whose family goes all out for Halloween may have that holiday every year while the other parent, whose family has special Memorial Day celebrations, will have that holiday every year.
If the parties agree, the court will approve any reasonable holiday schedule. The key is just to remember to include everything in the order to avoid future problems down the road. As always, the parties can feel free to adjust their schedule as needed as long as they are in agreement.