Even once child custody has been decided, ongoing conflict can occur over holiday schedules, summer visitation and vacations. Due to the emotions and expectations swirling around all of these occasions, it can be hard to work together to find a solution that works for both families and the child. How can you successfully navigate scheduling and child custody in Maryland?
Creating a Custody and Visitation Schedule
Creating a schedule with a lawyer is a great way to solidify plans together. Because child custody in Maryland is complex, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney who can offer assistance. When creating your visitation schedule, you should create a residential schedule, holiday schedule and vacation schedule.
While you might think of Christmas or Yom Kippur as a holiday, there are many more federal holidays scattered throughout the year. Your holiday visitation schedule should include all federal holidays, as the custody of the child on those days will dictate who is responsible for feeding and caring for the child when out of school. There’s no “right” way to divide up smaller holidays like Labor Day and the day after Thanksgiving, so think carefully about which holidays each party will take.
Common Ways to Divide Up Vacation and Holiday Schedules
Again, there is no one-size-fits-all way to divide up your visitation. The most common methods are:
Every Other Year: If you both observe the same holidays, some families will alternate years for major holidays. For example, one year a parent will take Thanksgiving and the other will take Christmas. The holiday situation would flip the following year.
Permanent Assignment: If you each prioritize different holidays, permanently deciding which holiday each party will have custody for can be effective.
Splitting the Day: If you live close to each other and have an amicable relationship, splitting a holiday can work well and allow both parties to spend important days with the child.
The Advantage of Working With an Attorney
While deciding child custody in Maryland might seem cut and dry, an attorney has knowledge of all of the nuances behind visitation and can help with defining parameters. If one parent has custody for the child’s birthday, does that mean they have the child from 9:00 AM-8:00 PM? Or, does that mean the parent receives custody after school the day before and until the next school day? An experienced lawyer can help you to refine your visitation agreement and identify bumps in the road before they become arguments.
Answering Your Questions About Child Custody in Maryland
The sooner in the child custody process that you contact an experienced lawyer, the better. Lebovitz Law can assist you in preparing for hearings and other court filings. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.