Thanksgiving and Child Custody in North Carolina

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Nov 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

Thanksgiving is a very important holiday for many families in the U.S. Most people have at least Thursday and the following Friday off of work and/or school to make for a long, four-day weekend. But for parents who share custody of children, Thanksgiving can be a huge source of contention as the parent who does not have custody over Thanksgiving may feel left out.

To compound the issue, visiting family members may get involved in visitation and custody disputes because they want to see the children while they are in town, which just escalates the situation and makes matters worse. Talk to an experienced North Carolina family law attorney about addressing visitation disputes ahead of time. 

North Carolina Child Custody and Visitation Schedule

Ideally, parents will work together to create a visitation and custody schedule that balances time between both parents during the holidays. For many children, it is important for them to spend quality time with each parent on the actual day of the holiday and for get-togethers with extended family. But when there is still resentment surrounding the separation, some parents may be unable to come up with an acceptable holiday agreement.

Whatever the parenting plans are for Thanksgiving, parents should make sure the schedules are made well in advance, and both should agree to not let extended family derail the schedule. Although Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day to reflect on things you are thankful for, it can be a stressful holiday, especially if you are traveling for the long weekend. Last-minute changes can make it more difficult for divorced parents to cooperate to make sure their children have an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Some possible holiday visitation schedules for parents and Thanksgiving can include alternating the holiday, dividing up the long weekend, or one parent spending Thanksgiving with the child and the other parent has another designated holiday, like Christmas. 

A New Thanksgiving Date 

There are several options for parents when planning a child custody schedule over the Thanksgiving break, like choosing a new date to celebrate the day. After all, it wasn't until 1941 that Thanksgiving was officially designated to occur on the fourth Thursday of November.

Some choose to have the children celebrate the holiday twice, once with one parent on Thanksgiving Day itself and once with the other parent the weekend before. Some parents will even equally split the four-day weekend. But one of the most common options for splitting Thanksgiving is for parents to alternate years. In the “off” years of not having the children for Thanksgiving, a parent could choose to start a new tradition of traveling or enjoying the day with friends.

Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorney

If you and your ex-spouse are having a hard time agreeing on a child custody or visitation plan for Thanksgiving, talk to dedicated family law attorney Jay Jerkins. He has helped many divorcing parents come to an agreement that will satisfy everyone involved. Contact Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins or call him at 919-719-2785 today.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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