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Child Custody Parenting Plans and Holiday Schedules Under Arizona Law

During a custody battle, parties can sometimes overlook important details concerning their parenting time requests. One area where this might happen is in holiday schedules. Under Arizona law, when entering child custody orders for parenting time, courts are obliged to adopt a “practical schedule for parenting time” which includes “holidays and school vacations.” See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-403-02(C)(3). Every family is unique, with its own combinations of observances and traditions, which means that while a schedule may be practical for one family it may not be practical for another. 


While a court may do its best to order a holiday parenting time schedule that is practical and in the best interests of a child, parents are in a far better position to consider the needs and desires of their families. In shaping these types of holiday schedules, parents should consider when parenting time exchanges will take place, where they will take place, and how they will take place. Having to leave your holiday dinner right before dessert to complete a parenting exchange can be a real downer, as can having an argument with your co-parent about needing just a little more time to exchange gifts. A well-crafted parenting plan, that lays out all of the specific details of the holiday schedule can go long way toward making sure you can enjoy your holiday festivities.


At Huffman-Shayeb Law, we frequently encourage clients facing child custody / parenting time petitions to think carefully about what customs and traditions matter most to them and to be open to tailored solutions. Whether it be giving up Christmas Eve in order to celebrate on Christmas morning every year, or alternating years to enjoy all seven nights of Hanukah back-to-back, finding the right parenting time schedule during the holidays often involves compromise and a fair amount of negotiating. This is where having a skilled and knowledgeable attorney your side would be a great idea.


If you are going through a divorce or facing a child custody matter in the State of Arizona, and have questions about court-ordered parenting plans, it is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance based on the specifics of your situation and help you understand your rights and obligations. If you are in need of an Arizona attorney to help you with a family law case in the State of Arizona, contact Huffman-Shayeb Law, PLLC to schedule a consultation.


Disclaimer: This publication is for educational and informational purposes only, and represents Huffman-Shayeb Law, PLLC’s understanding of the present state of Arizona law. This publication does not constitute legal advice or counsel, and should not be construed as a comment on the merits of any particular case. It should be noted that the laws and requirements of the State of Arizona may change at any time and that this information may not be complete or correct.