On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
For separated and divorced Florida couples with minor children, all of the holidays during the year can present special problems. There is only so much time, and each parent’s schedule must be adjusted to accommodate the other. In family law, the object is to have two parents communicating and cooperating so that holiday visits come off without a hitch.
Undoubtedly, the holidays, and perhaps Christmas most of all, present problems that must be worked out. Parents who live some distance from each other may settle on alternating holidays. Thus, one parent gets certain days, including Christmas this year, and the other parent gets the same time the following year.
When parents live in the same locality, it may be feasible to split Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Easter and the like. The one parent gets the children in the evening before, the morning of the holiday, up until early afternoon. The other parent takes over for the rest of the day and evening. These are judgment calls hardly worth a parent demanding an emergency visit to family court. Such appearances in court are expensive, and the time put in by the attorneys and the court is not always appreciated by bickering parents.
The fact is that the reasonableness of each parent in fashioning holiday agreements will set the tone for the success of the negotiations. Family law professionals do not like to see the parents fighting over miles on the map, drop-off points, who gets to eat a holiday dinner with the children or who gets to play miniature golf with them on any particular holiday event card. And more importantly, the children don’t like to see it, and they are often negatively affected by it.
For those who reside in Florida, there is an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy with the children and a myriad of activities to schedule. Getting bogged down in the minutes and hours of a holiday schedule can be counter-productive and can indicate a parent’s weakness in developing a strong parenting relationship with all parties concerned. Family law courts work on a different principle, and they are always pleased to see parents working together in the best interest of the children and not the best interest of the parent.
The Huffington Post, “Holidays, Divorce and Who Gets The Children?“, Jason Levoy, Dec. 23, 2015