Child Visitation and the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be times of joy, to be spent with loved ones, but when divorced parents try to determine who will enjoy parenting time with the kids, it can be a time of anguish and stress.

If the holidays come and both parents still cannot agree on custody and visitation, often the children caught in the middle of the verbal crossfire as the parents fight for time. However, such confrontations can be avoided if both parents follow these steps:

    • Plan in advance who will have parenting time on each day, and commit it to writing. It is best to consult with a family law attorney who can assist you so that everyone is on the same page.
    • To make parenting time more equitable, remember that your spouse and children will want to spend time together just as much as you and your children will want to spend time together. Try to divide the days the children are off from school evenly between parents and/or alternate so that the next year you will receive the same time your spouse had this year and vice-versa.
    • If travel is involved, let the other parent know in advance, either through a phone call, text message or email. Give details, such as when you are leaving, where you are going, and when you plan to return. For example, “I’m going upstate this Sunday so the kids can visit Grandma and Grandpa. We will be back in three days.” By letting the noncustodial parent know ahead of time (in writing via email or other written notice), there are no arguments such as “You didn’t tell me about this trip” or “Well, I forgot.”
    • If you are staying in a hotel, leave the phone number of the hotel you are staying at, and the room number.
    • Ask the other parent for an emergency contact, such as a relative, friend or neighbor, in the event the child is hurt or hospitalized and the other parent cannot be reached.

Determining parenting time during the holiday season can be stressful and both parents may not agree on the arrangements. It is important to contact a skilled New York family and divorce law attorney to help guide you through the process and assist long before the holidays. The Law Office of Heather A. Fig has experience representing spouses in all aspects of family and matrimonial law. Please contact Heather A. Fig at (631) 419-6111 to learn more about the firm’s services and approach to divorce and family law matters.

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