Even though many Dallas residents are still eating Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays are quickly approaching. While the holidays are joyful and merry for some people, they can bring sleigh-fulls of stress for others. Few people likely know this better than divorced parents.

For divorced parents in Dallas, the holidays can be challenging for many reasons, and one of them is child custody.

When it comes to the holidays, divorced parents have to do their best to figure out a schedule that works for everyone involved. Because this is rarely simple, it is best to start planning now, and keeping these few tips in mind may help you get through the process without a hitch.

If you and your ex already have a parenting schedule in place, it is important to compare schedules early and determine what will work best for the holidays. Generally, holidays will outweigh a normal schedule in the eyes of the court, but if you are unsure about something, consider running it by your lawyer first.

For parents who do not have a custody schedule, you will need to create one for the holidays. Consider what makes the most sense based on both of your schedules. Will your family be in town for one holiday and your spouse’s for another? Do you have a holiday tradition that the kids want to keep and can be worked into your custody plan? Does it make sense to alternate holidays each year? No matter what works for your situation, it is important to figure it out sooner than later.

The holidays have the potential to be a stressful time, especially for newly divorced parents and their children. By taking the time to establish a custody plan in advance, however, parents can make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.