Divorce Holiday Issues

It is hard to believe, but the holidays will soon be upon us. This time of year will unfortunately pose numerous challenges for families going through a divorce and dealing with the holidays for the first time.  Parents will want to make sure that they have adequate time with their children during the holidays.

     The most important concept to keep in mind is: start early. It is never too soon to speak with the other parent or your Attorney about proposing a holiday schedule. This is vastly preferable to waiting until the last minute and requesting an emergency Court Order the day before Christmas Eve.

     Families should communicate and make sure that each side is clear about where the children will be on certain dates. This is extremely important if one parent needs to make major travel arrangements during the holidays. Air travel during this time of year is very expensive. It is always best to purchase them as far in advance as possible. Many families will have holiday plans with other relatives who will be counting on visiting with the children. No child wants his or her Grandparent upset because their parents can’t agree on a schedule.

     The best advice is for parents to put their holiday schedule in writing. That way there is no confusion as to the custody arrangement. This schedule can easily be circulated around a family by email. The parents can also easily have this agreement converted into a court order. There are now special web sites for divorced families where holiday schedules can be arranged.

     Another piece of advice is for parents to ask their extended relatives to be understanding and supportive when making holiday plans. Many families will have to make small changes in their holiday schedules depending on one family member’s child custody order. This is usually a reasonable request. No Grandparent is going to object to having a holiday dinner a day earlier or later as long as their grand kids are able to spend the time with them.