Child custody issues can be manageable but should be considered in advance and in a spirit that focuses on the best interests of the children.
Child custody and the holidays may be a difficult issue for many divorced families or families going through the divorce process. For families that have been through a custody battle or are contemplating one, the holidays can be a challenging time full of anxiety and other emotions. Fights over holiday schedules can cause parents and families to lose focus on the happiness and well-being of the children which is what is really important.
It is best to consider holiday custody arrangements in advance. For those that already have a custody agreement in place, it is best to carefully review it in advance so that any agreement modification requests can be sought early. For those that do not yet have a child custody agreement, the time to establish the holiday schedule and other child custody issues is well in advance of the holidays to potentially avoid the need for a child custody dispute.
For those that do not have a child custody agreement, each holiday will need to be decided upon individually and in advance. Those who have a custody agreement already in place will want to ensure that it is properly understood and may wish to seek the advice and input of a family law attorney in doing so. In any event, planning ahead and remaining focused on what is in the best interests of the children will help parents avoid complicated and costly child custody disputes whenever possible.
Parents should always remember that agreement modifications to child custody and holiday custody schedules may be possible. Planning ahead, and understanding existing child custody agreements, is important and can always be done with the help of a trained family law attorney.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Holiday Parenting Schedule: Make a List and Check It Twice,” Nicole H. Sodoma, et al., Oct. 25, 2013