When divorcing your spouse, child custody is one of the most essential topics you will need to compromise on. In many instances, you will also need to determine a holiday schedule to ensure both parents spend time with their children. Though it can be hard to spend a holiday without your children, it’s crucial that they spend time with both parents whenever possible. If you’re struggling to create a plan, keep reading to learn how a Bergen County, New Jersey child custody lawyer can help you navigate child custody around the holidays.
What Should I Know About Child Custody During the Holidays?
It can be challenging to enjoy the holidays when going through a divorce, as things may feel tense or sad, but ensuring your children are happy is paramount. Limiting the amount of time spent talking about your predicament and speaking poorly of your child’s parent in front of them is essential, as your children may grow to resent the holidays due to the stress it causes.
Though you don’t have to like your ex-spouse, co-parenting in a civil manner is crucial for the sake of your children. The holidays are a special time, so ensure they are happy and shielded from fighting or passive aggression.
How Is Child Custody Determined for Holidays?
Generally, parents can determine holidays based on their schedules and celebrations. In some instances, parents agree to holidays as they happen, especially if the couple is on amicable terms. In other cases, holidays will need to be determined in the terms of the divorce, especially when the dissolution of the marriage is hostile.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement for holiday visitation, you may need to present your case to a judge. They will assess the circumstances and award holidays based on the evidence provided.
What Happens if Plans Change?
When possible, adhering to the plans is essential to keeping the peace during the holidays. Not only could you potentially violate your child custody arrangement, but making changes can affect the schedule of your children and your spouse, resulting in extreme disruptions.
If your spouse changes the plans without your permission, as it is not in agreement with the terms decided during your settlement, do not retaliate. Though you may try to adjust the schedule to make up for their changes, sticking to your schedule can protect you when you discuss it with your attorney.
When possible, you will also want to ensure all communications about plans and changes are in writing. This helps protect you should your ex-spouse attempt to alter the story about an agreed-upon schedule change.
If you’re experiencing issues with your child custody agreement this holiday, you’ll want to stay calm and contact HD Family Law to ensure you spend the time you deserve with your children.