The holiday season is finally here, which means that many families are dealing with the custody issues that go hand-in-hand with turkey and presents. If you are concerned that your kids might miss out on holiday magic due to disagreements and child custody issues, now is the time to work out a holiday visitation schedule.
The best way to create a holiday visitation schedule that benefits both spouses and the child is forming an agreement together. This schedule can be made with a mediator to ensure that you and your ex-spouse can both work towards a common goal together with helpful legal advice. By putting everything in writing, it will also be much harder for one member to suddenly “forget” who was supposed to be where on Christmas. This method works very well for couples who remain on good terms post-divorce, as this will not be a legally binding and official agreement.
Request a Modification from the Court
If you cannot cooperate to create a mutually-beneficial holiday visitation plan, you might need to return to the courtroom again. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can create a modification to the existing child custody or visitation order and put it before a judge for approval. Remember that a judge will consider the best interest of the child above everything else, so if you try to create an order that obviously benefits one party and disadvantages the other, it may not be granted.
When you create the request for modification, you should always work with a lawyer to make sure that your case is legally sound and that it has a high chance of courtroom approval.
Holiday Visitation Considerations
The child’s school and extracurricular activity schedules
Work obligations of each parent
Travel schedules of each parent
Religious practices of each parent
Holiday traditions that are important to the child
The costs and travel time involved with holiday events
Helping Your Child Adjust to Holiday Visitation Changes
Talk with your children about holiday visitation schedules before the holiday rolls around.
If you can, also discuss the schedule with the family members who will be seeing your kids so that everyone has clear expectations.
If travel is involved, try to pace things so that kids won’t be worn out when they get home after celebrations.
If your child isn’t joining you for a holiday, don’t put pressure on them or make them feel guilty about being away. Holidays can be celebrated any day, not just on the typical date.
Avoid Child Custody Issues with Lebovitz Law
If you are dealing with custody issues as you enter the holiday season this year, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.