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Shared custody options for Thanksgiving

It's never too early for divorced parents to determine how their kids will divide their time over the Thanksgiving holiday. If you included Thanksgiving in your custody agreement during your divorce, you're a step ahead. Of course, that doesn't mean that you and your co-parent can't agree to change your predetermined arrangement.

If you live here in Calabasas and your kids attend school in the Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD), they have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Some other school districts and private schools do as well. However, the big celebrations on both sides of your family will likely be on Thanksgiving Day and over the weekend.

Following are a few suggestions for shared parenting Thanksgiving holiday schedules:

  • One parent has the kids from Tuesday or Wednesday evening through Thanksgiving evening. The other has them the rest of the long weekend. This may mean two Thanksgiving celebrations for the kids. However, the parent who has them over the weekend might opt for a getaway to the mountains or beach instead.
  • One parent has the kids from their first day off through Friday morning. The other has them over the weekend. Again, you can opt for two Thanksgiving celebrations. This schedule would also allow both of you time to take your kids on a short trip instead.
  • One parent has the kids until mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving. The other has them that evening and through Saturday afternoon. Then the first parent takes them back for the remainder of the weekend. This allows kids to spend part of Thanksgiving Day with each parent and that parent's extended family members. However, this is only feasible when parents live near each other.
  • One parent has the kids throughout the entire holiday week/weekend one year. Then, the other parent has them the following year. This may be the easiest solution if parents live some distance apart.

These are just a few options. Every family situation is unique, and no two years are the same. Maybe one parent has football or theater tickets one year. If you get along well enough, you might even opt to spend Thanksgiving together and work your holiday custody schedule around that.

It's generally best to have a custody agreement that covers major holidays. This can help you plan ahead and let your kids know where they'll be and what they'll be doing when these holidays roll around.

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