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What holidays should parents put in their custody agreement?

If you and your co-parent are negotiating your custody and visitation agreement, you'll need to address the issue of holidays. The more clearly you detail the parenting agreement for each holiday, the less likely you'll be to have disputes and confusion later over the issue.

If you and your co-parent celebrate different religious holidays or one of you is more observant than the other, take that into consideration. Besides Christmas or whatever religious holidays you want your children to celebrate with you, you'll also need to think about Thanksgiving.

However, don't forget other holidays when you will likely be off work and your children will be off school, like Labor Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Memorial Day. Look at your kids' current school calendars for guidance. However, remember that these will change over the years, so you'll need to work together at the start of each school year to deal with days when there's no school due to teacher conferences, snow days and so forth.

Don't forget days that are important to you and/or your co-parent, and most of all, consider how the kids feel about them. Do you want the kids to be with you on your birthday and on Mothers' or Fathers' Day? Even if you don't care, maybe the kids want to celebrate those days with you.

Of course, the kids' own birthdays are extremely important. Many parents find a way that they can both celebrate with their children on or close to the actual day.

Some holidays, like Halloween and Easter (even if you don't celebrate the religious aspect of it), are a big part of everyone's childhoods, as are the traditions that you can continue in some form even as you celebrate in different households.

Some holidays, like the Fourth of July and New Year's, fall during kids' vacations. As you work out how their vacation time will be divided, you can determine where they'll spend these holidays.

Your attorney can offer additional suggestions and guidance based on your situation. They can also help you as you negotiate your holiday custody schedule.

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