By: Tara Brown
Tara Brown is a Partner at WhitbeckBennett. Ms. Brown was born and raised in northern New Jersey. She has been practicing Family Law and Trust & Estates for six years, and has 18 years of experience negotiating contracts. Her endeavor to objectively evaluate situations has led to creative, unique solutions in negotiations with opposing parties in the practice. To learn more about Tara, click here.
Coordinating Child Custody During Holidays
Halloween – Is this considered a holiday? What about Columbus Day? Their dad has visitation Mondays and Tuesdays, but we agreed to every other holiday, and the kids have a three-day weekend, so can I take them on a mini-vacation?
These are common problems parents face in trying to figure out what exactly they agreed to when the relationship fell apart. Or what they should agree to.
Oftentimes, the more minor holidays are overlooked… until they arise.
Parents have argued that a Snow Day from school is a holiday. You won’t find the answer online. Holidays in parenting plans or custody and visitation orders are not determined by law. Holidays are whatever days of the year that are important to your family. And now that you are separating, it is time to think about that. What is important to your family? What do you want your children to experience?
Halloween may be important to one spouse and not the other. Or it may be important to both. Parents may celebrate different religious holidays. Veteran’s Day may be significant to one spouse. Or even Flag Day. It’s your life and your family, and it is in your hands to address the experiences you would like your children to have, as long as it is in their best interests.
Come in, and let’s discuss how our team can help guide you through this process.
We can go through the year’s calendar and discuss how your family celebrated these holidays in the past and ideas on celebrating them in the future, and what “holidays” are important to whom? What kind of a schedule will the children benefit from most?
Parenting time should be well thought out with as much specificity as possible to avoid disputes later about items that could have been addressed. Our team has extensive experience with many different situations that can arise. Like what if the custodial parent falls ill and can’t take the children trick-or-treating?
Should the non-custodial parent get the opportunity over a neighbor? Let us ask you the questions most likely to arise and that matter to you. Together we can create a parenting plan for your family that you are ultimately both comfortable with. The courts favor this. A detailed parenting plan included in your court order will help reduce misunderstandings and minimize stress for both parents and your children.
After all, holidays should be fun – not filled with uncertainty and arguments.