After a divorce, child custody can get complicated. Even if there is a parenting plan outlined in the divorce decree, things can get tricky during the holidays. Who gets the kids on Thanksgiving? What about Christmas Day? Can I travel with the kids?
If there is no court order specifying which parent gets the kids during each holiday, then it’s up to the parents to agree. However, this is often easier said than done, considering that many couples have contentious relationships. So what can you do to make the holidays less stressful for both you and the kids? Here’s how to create and amend a parenting schedule to make things fair for both parents while keeping the kids happy.
How to Properly Amend the Schedule for the Holidays
First, you should review your parenting schedule with your lawyer to see what it entails. If you feel like the other parent is getting too much time with the kids or cannot take time off work to spend time with the kids during your scheduled time, then it may be necessary to make different arrangements.
Your lawyer can work with your ex-spouse’s lawyer to help come up with a doable schedule. They can address any confusion and fill in any gaps if needed.
If you and the other parent do not have a regular custody schedule, then it will be up to you two to address the situation and work out a plan. Since many kids tend to have two weeks off at Christmas, perhaps one parent can take the kids one week, and the other can take the kids for the other week. You can also split up Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Since many parents have equal custody, make the plans as fair as possible. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little.
The earlier you address these issues, the better. Do not wait until winter break to start to determine who gets the kids on which days. This just causes more stress for everyone involved.
How to Enforce the Schedule During the Holidays
Communication and coordination are important for parents during the holidays. Ideally, parents return the children back home at the correct times, but sometimes parents keep the kids for longer or even travel with them without permission. If the other parent does not abide by the schedule, you may want to get your lawyer involved.
You should know that your children are safe at all times. If you cannot get ahold of the other parent and you think he or she has kidnapped the kids, you should get police involved. The parent could face criminal charges and lose custody of the children.
Contact a Skilled Columbia County Child Custody Attorney for Help
If you have kids, it may be necessary to amend a parenting schedule during Christmas, summer and other school vacations. Make sure you follow the proper protocol. Seek legal advice from an experienced Columbia county divorce attorney from The Colwell Law Group. Contact us today by calling (518) 512-0257 or texting us at (518) 730-7028.