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Michigan Family Law Blog

Holiday Season and Parenting Time in Michigan

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Nov 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

The holiday season in Michigan can bring many things; cold weather, office parties, family and sometimes issues about parenting time or custody.  This can often arise when parties are separated and going through a divorce, recently divorced or sometimes it can just be an ongoing problem. 

What is a Typical Holiday Parenting Time Schedule?

Typically, parents will alternate most of the major holidays with one parent having the children on even years and the other having the children on odd years.  Of course the parents may agree upon whatever schedule they wish, for instances some families will have one parent whose family always hosts Thanksgiving and the other's Christmas Eve, in that case it would make sense to give one parent every Thanksgiving and the other every Christmas Eve with an offset of additional vacation days as may be appropriate to even the days out.

A typical sample holiday parenting time schedule would look like this:

Parent A will have the following holidays in all even-numbered years and Parent B will have these holidays in all odd-numbered years:

Memorial Day Weekend: from Friday at 6:00 pm until Memorial Day at 7:00 pm

Fourth of July: from July 3rd at 6:00 p.m. until July 5th at 7:00 pm.

Labor Day Weekend: from Friday at 6:00 pm until Labor Day at 7:00 pm

Halloween: from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on October 31st

Thanksgiving weekend: from 6:00 p.m. the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving until 7:00 p.m. Sunday

Mother's Day and Father's Day:  The child(ren) will be with the Mother for the entire Mother's Day weekend and with the Father for the entire Father's Day weekend from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

Christmas/Winter Break : In all odd-numbered years, Parent A's Christmas parenting time will be from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of the child(ren)'s school until 9:00 p.m. on December 24th.  Parent B's Christmas parenting time will be from 9:00 p.m. on December 24th until 7:00 p.m. on January 1st. Thereafter, regular parenting time resumes.  In all even-numbered years, Spouse B's Christmas parenting time will be from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of the child(ren)'s school until 9:00 p.m. on December 24th. Spouse A's Christmas parenting time will be from 9:00 p.m. on December 24th until 7:00 p.m. on January 1st. Thereafter, regular parenting time resumes.

Easter/Spring Break and Mid-Winter Break:  Spouse A will have the Easter/Spring Break in even-numbered years and Mid-Winter Break in odd-numbered years.  Spouse B will have the Easter/Spring Break in odd numbered years and Mid-Winter Break in even numbered years. Spring and Mid-Winter parenting time begins at 6:00 p.m. the day school recesses and concludes at 7:00 p.m. the evening before the school resumes. In the event that the Easter/Spring Break is divided into two breaks, the parent awarded Easter/Spring Break for that year will get both breaks.

If a child is not of school age or is homeschooled, then for all school breaks and holidays, the school vacation schedule of the district where the child resides controls. The holiday and school break schedule may not be appropriate for infants and toddlers and parents are always allowed to make their own holiday and school break schedule for their children.

What Happens to Parenting Time I Lose When the Other Parent Has Holiday Parenting Time?

Holiday and school break parenting time supersedes regular parenting time. Upon holiday or break parenting time ending regular parenting time resumes.  Regular rotation for weekends do not change because of holidays or school breaks but remain the same.  This means that there is no make-up parenting time for regular parenting time that one parent may miss because of the holiday parenting time schedule.  For instance, parent A may have holiday parenting time over a weekend that would normally belong to parent B.  Parent A will exercise parenting time over the Labor Day weekend and parent B is not entitled to any makeup parenting time.  This means that (assuming the parents alternate weekends) parent A would most likely have three weekends in a row that year.

If you are facing an issue with holiday parenting time or you anticipate that there may be an issue with an upcoming holiday, you should contact a family law attorney immediately in order to get into court before the holiday season or school breaks start.  Please do not hesitate to contact the North Oakland Family Law firm to schedule a consultation. 

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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