The holidays are here. It is a time for gatherings, gifts and cheer. It is also a time of year when divided families struggle with where children will spend the holidays and school vacation.
In anticipation of the holidays, divorced parents with minor children should do the following:
1. Review the court orders concerning holiday visitation at least a few weeks beforehand.
2. Discuss with the other parent your understanding of the court orders/schedule.
3. If there is a legitimate disagreement mediation or court involvement may be necessary. Do not wait until the last minute! Allow enough time to participate in mediation or to file motions in court.
Most Parenting Plans state that holiday visitation supersedes the regular visitation schedule. For example, this year Christmas falls on a Sunday. Parent A is scheduled to have their alternate weekend visitation beginning Friday December 23. However, the Parenting Plan states that in odd years Parent B will have Parenting Time during Christmas weekend. Parent B's Parenting Time supersedes the alternate weekend time for Parent A.
What if there is no court order regarding the holidays?
Some Parenting Plans do not specify how holidays are to be handled. In this event, put the interests of the children first. Both parents should respect religious practices of the children and the schedules/activities of the children (especially true for older children).
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