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You Can’t Split the Baby, But You Can Split the Holidays

Divorcing or divorced couples with children often have the dilemma of how to handle the issue of two parents, kids and the holidays. The court does not care about the needs of the parents. Rather, the focus is on the children and what is in the children's best interests.

There is only one Christmas morning and one Christmas Eve. So, some time-sharing schedules split the holiday time as follow:

In the year whereby a parent has the children on Christmas morning/day, it is the other parent who would have the children on Christmas Eve. This would alternate every other year.

Another methodology that courts use: the first half of Christmas vacation goes to the mother. The second half to the father. The following year, the mother will have the second half and the father the first half - alternating thereafter year after year. This takes into account NewYear's Eve as well, until the children return to school.

Thanksgiving holiday is usually alternating with say the mother having even years, and the father having odd years.

The bottom line is that divorcing or divorced parents can come up with their own holiday time-sharing arrangement by agreement of the parties or, if that is not possible, the court will decide based upon the best interests of the children, not the parents.


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When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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