On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
For any divorced or unmarried parents, a holiday season can get pretty hectic and stressful – but not if you take care of your holiday visitation schedule in advance.
In 90% of all cases, when two parents have joint physical custody, the other parent will want to spend at least some portion of the holiday season with your children. And they have every right to.
However, our child custody attorneys at Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. warn that it would be illegal to just show up out of the blue and take your kids away from you for an indefinite period of time during the holidays without notice or prior agreements.
To prevent endless fights and disagreements regarding parenting visitation during the holidays that could evolve into a fully-fledged and costly lawsuit, it’s vital to agree on a visitation schedule to split the holidays.
What’s the best way to split the holidays with your ex?
Over the past several decades, our best Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney has established the most efficient and trouble-free parenting schedules that work for most separated parents that want to divide holiday time with their kids.
Alternate holidays every other year. This one makes perfect sense because every parent wants to spend Christmas with the kids, but if you and the other parent aren’t exactly on speaking terms, it’s practically impossible to achieve every year.
That’s why many divorced and unmarried parents in Fort Lauderdale choose to alternate holidays every other year (meaning: you will have your child spend Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other major holiday with you every other year).
Splitting the holiday in half. This option may not suit everybody, but many parents still choose to split the day of the holiday to allow your child spend one half of the day with one parent, and the other half with the other parent.
However, this type of holiday parenting schedule will require you to plan your holidays in advance.
Compromise. This one is probably the most popular one for parents who don’t want to overcomplicate things. Basically, you assign fixed holidays for each parent by compromising. What it means is that while you can get to spend Christmas with your child every year, the other parent will have more time during summer months or winter breaks.
Or if some holiday is less important for you, you may assign it to the other parent, while getting the child to spend other – more important – holidays with you (for example, Christmas vs New Year’s Eve).
Combination of any of the above. Another good idea, our experienced child custody attorneys advise, would be to use any combination of the above-mentioned holiday visitation schedules to create holiday arrangements that work best for you and your ex-spouse or ex-partner.
Have your holiday visitation schedule in writing and legalized
When agreeing on a certain parenting visitation schedule for the holidays, always remember to prioritize the best interests of your child.
Your children deserve to spend holidays with both parents and taking this right away from your child just because you can’t stand your ex wouldn’t be a good idea if you truly care about your child’s upbringing.
Here at Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., our family law lawyers are often asked, “Well, what about the child’s birthday? How do we split it?”
While you may want to consider the above-mentioned holiday visitation options, what works for most divorced and unmarried parents with joint custody is this: schedule a short visit for the non-custodial parent to give him/her plenty of time to spend quality time with the child.
Alternating the birthday may also work out well. If you have trust issues, you may want to have your holiday visitation plan in writing and legalized by a Fort Lauderdale family law attorney in order to prevent unnecessary and totally preventable “he said/she said” conflicts.
Consult our skilled attorneys to find out what would be the best legal options in your particular case. Our lawyers will help you create arrangements that would suit both you and the other parent, and, above all, would be in the best interests of your child.