Do you Need to Finalize your Holiday Time-Sharing Schedule?
December is here, which means stores are filled with holiday decorations and families are beginning to plan gatherings for the upcoming holidays. While some families may not have to plan ahead, parents who are amidst a child custody battle or who have already faced one should be attentive to what might happen in the next few weeks.
If you have gone through a custody battle, or are currently in one, you may be familiar with a time-sharing schedule. Put simply, a time-sharing schedule lays out where the child will reside primarily and the visitation schedule for the non-primary custodial parent. If you are currently in the middle of a divorce, you may come to a mutual agreement on a time-sharing plan with your former spouse through negotiations or other dispute resolution methods.
Keep in mind that the holidays are just around the corner and you and your former spouse should finalize a time-sharing schedule that resolves where your child will be spending each holiday before it’s too late. Doing so will allow you to avoid having to argue over where your child will be spending Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah or any other holiday your family celebrates. Consider which spouse has a bigger celebration or tradition for each respective holiday and where your child might prefer to spend each holiday. You could also split the holidays and holiday breaks evenly. The sooner you are able to come to a mutual agreement – the better it will be to assure your child has a good holiday season, spent with both parents and a loving family.
If you already have a time-sharing plan, now is the time to review and revise your plan if necessary. Check your time-sharing plan to make sure there is a holiday schedule in place. If you do not have a parenting plan in place, the best option is to speak to your former spouse and come to an agreement on how your time with your child will be split over the holiday season. Moreover, if you have a plan in place, but it no longer works for you or your former spouse, you could agree on a modification for the plan. If you and your former spouse change your time-sharing plan to include a holiday schedule, make sure the agreement is written on paper and you both sign the agreement. It is also advised that you each contact an attorney and have them review the agreement as well. Make sure to file this agreement with the court to prevent either parent claiming afterwards that no agreement or change was made to your timesharing schedule.
Unfortunately, even holiday cheer isn’t enough to get some former couples to come to an agreement. If you and your former spouse are unable to work out a holiday time-schedule or agree on a modification, it will be up to the court to decide what would be in the best interest of your child. This process may take time and with the holidays a few weeks away, time may not be in your favor, so act quickly.
At The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm, our team of experienced family attorneys understand the value of being able to spend time with your child, especially during the holidays. We will take the time to help you come up with a holiday time-schedule now, to allow you and your former spouse to plan ahead and avoid conflict, so you can both enjoy the time you have with your children. After all, the most important thing during the holidays is making sure your children are happy. Call us today or email us to schedule your initial consultation.