When trying to divide custody with your spouse during the holiday season, there's one crucial thing you must keep in mind: The season has to be all about your children. Your focus must be on finding a plan that makes them happy and allows them to enjoy this season of joy and festivity.
Parents sometimes choose simple plans that switch every other year. If it's a year ending in an odd number, for example, you may get the kids on Thanksgiving and your spouse may get them on Christmas. That would apply this year, in 2015. In an even numbered year, like 2016, you may get your children on Christmas and they can stay with your spouse for Thanksgiving.
Other parents just use loose guidelines and figure things out as they go. They have to keep lines of communication open, but they're willing to make compromises. If your spouse really wants to do Christmas two years in a row, for instance, you can agree to it on the fly if it works for you. If not, you can find some compromise that will fit.
The problem with any arrangement is that it's tempting to make it about yourself. If you're angry with your spouse, you may try to get the children for every holiday, even though you know it's impacting their relationship with the other parent. You may feel tempted to be selfish, even if you're not angry, just because you love your kids.
These are easy traps to fall into, but you don't want to let your desires get in the way of allowing your children to have a great holiday season. Always look for options that are best for them, and make sure you know your rights in California.
Source: Huffington Post, "Splitting Up The Holidays? It's All About The Kids," Jennifer Cullen, accessed Nov. 23, 2015