Despite that it is only early October, the holidays will be here before you know it.  Retailers are ready, with aisles full of Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.  If you share custody of your children, you should be ready too.  Here are a few tips:

1.            KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTODY ORDER SAYS:  Even if you think you remember who gets Christmas this year or what time you exchange the children on Thanksgiving, take your Order out of your desk and read it again, sooner rather than later.  It is much easier to discover now that it isn’t your year to have the kids on Christmas Eve than on December 23.

2.            MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS NOW:  Custody Orders often have specific times that children need to be back to the other parent.  You will have much more luck booking airline tickets that fit into those restrictions if you book now than if you wait until the last minute.  And if you cannot make arrangements that work within the constraints of your Order, you will likely get a lot more understanding from the other parent if you ask now for some flexibility as opposed to the day before you travel.

3.            COMMUNICATE WITH THE OTHER PARENT:  While this may sound less appealing than traveling on Thanksgiving, it is important to make sure that you and the other parent are on the same page and have the same understanding about the holiday schedule and holiday travel plans.  It can be as simple as sending a calm, straightforward email setting forth your understanding.  Or, if communication comes more easily, you can pick up the phone and call.