Thanksgiving Scheduling Tips for Parents

With the holidays comes a whole new set of concerns for families where the parents are separated or divorced. Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays, and there are several factors to take into consideration when entering into a Parenting Plan dealing with this specific holiday.

First and foremost, consider what time you normally have Thanksgiving dinner. Some families treat Thanksgiving as an all-day event and have Thanksgiving “Dinner” in the late afternoon. If this is your family, you will want to ensure that you have adequate time during the day to celebrate before facilitating an exchange later that day. For example, if you have Thanksgiving dinner at 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. might be a reasonable time to exchange the minor child(ren), on the same time. However, if you do Thanksgiving dinner at 6pm, 8pm is no longer a reasonable time. In those instances, you may want to ensure Thanksgiving is an overnight, to allow adequate time to celebrate and to avoid extra travel on the actual holiday.

In a lot of cases, parties will turn Thanksgiving into a full weekend event, beginning Wednesday after school or Thursday morning until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That works well for some families, however, some families may wish to break up the days so that the parent who doesn’t have the children on Thanksgiving can still celebrate with them, a few days late.

Finally, be aware of the minor child(ren)’s school schedule. Sometimes minor children will have the entire week of Thanksgiving off of school. If you find out that this Is the case for your child, you will want to take that into consideration for the purpose of being able to spend more time with them, and also for child care planning purposes, as most adults don’t receive a week off of work for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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