Child custody issues are always difficult for the children involved, especially during the holidays. The first few holidays after a divorce, when the child is still getting used to parents in separate homes, can be very stressful. Family law attorney Mark Sawicki says the first thing you need to do is to read over your child custody order to avoid misunderstandings.
Child custody schedules outline each parent’s time with the children, which includes weekends, special occasions and holidays. Some options include schedules that alternate holidays every other year, split the holiday in half or assign fixed holidays. Your child custody lawyer can help you through the process of planning a holiday schedule.
Most holiday schedules apply – but are not limited to – Christmas, New Year, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Easter and Halloween.
Even the best plans can change at the last minute. Sawicki, an experienced family law attorney, says communicating any changes to the other parent as soon as possible is always best. Keep in mind that child custody orders are legally binding, and failure to follow them can have negative consequences to your custody schedule. A parent can request a change to the custody order, but a judge is only likely to approve changes if there has been a major change in the circumstances. Making changes do take time, though, because you have to schedule a court date to discuss custody schedules with a judge.
Family law attorney Mark Sawicki advises parents to look at the big picture when choosing a holiday schedule. List your goals and decide how you would like to spend future holidays with your children. Keep these factors in mind: work schedules, where the parents live, family traditions and school schedules.
It definitely does not work for every family, but some divorced families do get together during the holidays and celebrate together. If you are considering this, keep in mind that it will require good communication and planning with everyone involved.
The best thing anyone can do to figure out child custody during the holidays, Sawicki says, is hire an experienced family law attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Sawicky, PA, in Fort Lauderdale FL and Washington DC today to discuss your child custody case. Call 954-458-0005 (FL) or 202-521-9833 (DC) or email [email protected].