Holiday Visitation: Divorced Parents in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana

With the holidays approaching, it is often on the minds of people seeking a divorce or dissolution of marriage, what will happen during the holidays. While most people are aware that there will be some sort of sharing of the holiday schedule, they are often not sure what that might look like, and what that schedule may or may not mean for their particular family dynamic.

Standard Divorce Visitation and the Holidays

Each county in Ohio has a standard holiday schedule, and many are identical. Typically, the goal is to alternate holidays based on even and odd years, and to make sure that each parent is able to celebrate a major holiday in each year. For instance, typically a parent would not have parenting time of a child during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In an odd year, Mother may have Thanksgiving and Father may have Christmas, and that would be switched for the even year. According to the standard holiday schedule, the major and minor holidays are meant to be divided equally between the parties

However, the court will not get in the way of parents making their own determination of what is in the best interest of the child regarding where they should spend a holiday – the standard schedule is modifiable by whatever the parents believe is in the best interest. This can be done formally in a shared parenting plan or custody agreement, or informally by agreement between the parties outside of court. For instance, maybe Mother’s family has a tradition of celebrating on Christmas Eve and Father’s family traditionally celebrates on Christmas Day. The schedule can be arranged to accommodate that scenario.

The key to remember is, what is in the best interest of the child – and that is to have holiday experiences with each parent, or both parents if possible.

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