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Holiday Parenting Time

As we all know, the winter holidays sneak up on us quickly. This is why it is so important to consider your plans with children early. Very often, we run into situations where clients and prospective clients contact our office at the last minute regarding disputes over holiday parenting time. Here are a few tips about how to avoid heated arguments with your child’s other parent:

Tips for Negotiating Holiday Parenting Schedule

  • Have a parenting schedule in place that assigns holiday parenting time to one or the other parent. Oftentimes, parents want to agree with one another that they will decide on holiday parenting time on a case-by-case basis. This is not a good idea. If you have no court order which grants specific parenting rights to each party, and then you cannot reach agreements, there is nothing for either party on which to rely. It is important to remember that you can agree to deviate from the court orders by mutual agreement, but the problems arise when there are no agreements in place. Therefore, you need to address holiday parenting schedules in any agreement that you reach with the other side.
  • Do not wait to resolve issues. If you are expecting to travel with the children during the holiday, do not procrastinate. The sooner that you can address these issues, the better off you will be. Additionally, the courts are busy. It takes a long time to get into court, so if you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent, you need a lot of time to get a hearing. More and more often, courts are deciding that holiday parenting time disputes do not warrant a forthwith or emergency hearing. Therefore, if you are planning to travel next year for the holidays, you might want to think about getting the process with the court started now. Unfortunately, it is probably too late for the court to help you this year.
  • Remember that holidays are important to the other parent, too. The holidays are an important time for many. The courts will likely decide that both parents should have a right to share this important time of year with the children. Your extended family will understand if the children cannot travel all over the county every year to be with one another, so remember that your children likely need to have a relationship with both sides of the family, especially during the holidays.

These are just a few points with which to get started. The most important thing to remember is that you need to start early. The holidays should be a fun and happy time of year for children, so it is best to do what you can to make sure that they are.

Posted December 27, 2014
Updated for 2022‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ by: MFL Team

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