In any childs custody case, it is best if the parties design their own custody schedule so that they have more control over the personal considerations in each of their families as well as to include some days that may not be considered an official holiday for court custody purposes. When, however, communication has broken down and it is not possible to come to an agreement even on holidays, the court will often in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have a routine method of determining holidays. In some counties, it is a pre-printed holiday list that the parties will receive. In others, it is a generally conceived concept. In most cases, the court will alternate holidays on an odd year/even year basis rotating the holiday every year so both parents will have time alternating years. For some holidays, such as Christmas, the court will usually break the holiday into two parts. One parent will have Christmas Eve until Christmas Day and the other parent will have Christmas Day until the Day after and this will alternate each year to allow both parents the opportunity to have Christmas morning every other year.
Some of the holidays that the Court often does not include are Halloween, birthdays of the children and birthdays of the parents. They often do not consider July 4th into the next day or after fireworks. They do not consider the Memorial Day or Labor Day as a full weekend. They usually do not split Thanksgiving in half which is possible if the parties agree to share the day. This is why it is so important that parents work together to communicate and agree to holidays rather than have a court decide how to divide the holidays. Sometimes one parent works on holidays and it makes sense the other parent should have the children but if you do not come to an agreement, this is not likely to happen. It is best if you are going through custody, not only to work out a schedule for your children but to really think about how your families structure and celebrate the holidays to make it best for the children.