“Does Holiday Visitation Replace The Normal Visitation Schedule?”

A common problem with visitation orders is interpreting the holiday visitation schedules. Sometimes the questions are simple, such as “during holiday visitation, do I still get my weekend visitation,” and sometimes they are more complicated, such as “if the holiday visitation ends partway through a weekend visitation, who gets the rest of the weekend?”

The general principle to keep in mind is that holiday visitation REPLACES and takes precedence over normal orders. So if you have a weekend schedule, but a week split vacation schedule over Christmas, the week-split will control.

This also applies for holidays such as mother’s day or father’s day. It is common to have the father have Father’s day (or Father’s day weekend) and the mother have Mother’s day. This means that regardless of the weekend rotation, those holiday weekend belong to a specific parent, regardless of how the weekend falls.

There is normally no make-up time given for missed regular visitation due to a holiday schedule. This is because any inequities will even out over time, on balance. You may lose time one year and gain it the next due to how the holidays fall on the calendar.
It is also important to remember that at the end of a holiday schedule, the primary schedule immediately comes back into play. That means that occasionally a visit will be extended (a weekend falling right after Christmas vacation, for instance) or a period of visitation may be resumed part-way through if the visitation period overlaps the end of the vacation order.

It is important to talk these matters over with your ex in advance. You can work most issues out, and if you cannot, you can then talk to your attorneys to get the matter resolved before you have a fight over a holiday which can put a damper on what should be good times of the year.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.