A wooden table with an autumn-themed setup, featuring a whole pumpkin pie under the careful custody of a slice being cut, a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on a plate, a glass of red beverage held by a hand, a loaf of bread, and autumn leaves scattered around.

When most people think about Thanksgiving, they think about family. On a day on which we celebrate the things we are most grateful for, we want to spend it with those who are closest to us. For many parents, this means spending it with their kids. This can become complicated for divorced couples who share custody. Fortunately, there are different options you have when it comes to splitting custody on important holidays. Below you will find some of the different possibilities.

Tips for Sharing the Holiday

Put it in your custody agreement: When couples with children first get divorced, one of the matters they must figure out is that of child custody. Many parents create a schedule, for example, they designate the days of the week the children will stay with each of them. Couples also put major holidays on the schedule so that when the day rolls around, there is already a plan in place. Make sure to discuss important dates with your spouse so there is no discrepancy later on.

Split the day: Traditionally, Thanksgiving is celebrated with a dinner, but there is no reason that should be the only way to celebrate the holiday. Consider spending the morning with your children, watching the parade, and enjoying a festive breakfast, before they spend the evening with your ex-spouse. You can also alternate, for example, if you spend the morning with the kids, you can spend dinner with them the next year.

Alternate years: A common way to handle holidays is to alternate years. You and your ex-spouse may decide that the best way to go about things is to take turns, alternating who spends the holiday with the kids each year. This is a good way for everyone to feel like things are fair and equal.

Host Two Thanksgivings: If you don’t want to wait until the next year to celebrate, you may want to host your own Thanksgiving on a different day. For example, you may want to celebrate with your kids the day after Thanksgiving.

Share the holiday: While this is not an option for most divorced couples, some have an amicable enough relationship and can continue to spend holidays together in order to spend time with the children.

It is important to communicate with your ex-spouse and your children to find an arrangement that works best for all parties.


We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.