In my world, there is a hierarchy of holidays. July 4th is alright (not much of a fireworks guy) and Christmas is okay.

Then there’s Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. Food. Football. Family. It’s such a beautiful, chill day.

When you’re divorced with kids in Utah, however, Thanksgiving becomes a bit more complicated. There are parent-time and school schedules to figure out, possible flights, communicating with the ex.

Let’s talk about each of these things for a second.

School Holiday Schedules

Most Utah schools let kids out for the Thanksgiving break on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. In other words, kids have Wednesday through the next Monday off.

If you live out of town from your child, and it’s your year for Thanksgiving, this might allow you to have your child on Tuesday after school until Sunday when you get him or her back for school the next day.

Likewise, if you have to book a flight, you should communicate with your ex about scheduling a flight on Tuesday. This will maximize the time you have for Thanksgiving.

Parent-time Schedule

The Utah parent-time holiday schedule for Thanksgiving is pretty straightforward.

Here’s what Utah law says about the schedule: “Wednesday at 7 p.m. until Sunday at 7 p.m.


Hopefully, you’ve already bought tickets for Thanksgiving. It’s best to buy them two or three months early because they get expensive if you don’t.

Honestly, the best thing to do is look at your child’s school schedule in July or August, determine when the Thanksgiving holiday is, and then schedule flights with your ex.

If you do this well in advance of November, chances are you’ll get good tickets and be fine.

Communication with the Ex

This might well be the trickiest part of Thanksgiving.

You have to coordinate the holiday, otherwise things will be a complete mess. If you don’t talk about schedules and flights early on, your chance for having a break down and yelling match will increase exponentially. That doesn’t make for a pleasant Thanksgiving.

Talk early. Talk nice. Talk often.

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