Christmas can be one of the most contentious times for child custody and visitation disputes. The winter holidays are supposed to be a happy time for family, festivities, and celebrating a new year. Unfortunately, the holiday can provide an opportunity for child custody and visitation disputes to come up, making it a stressful time for parents, children, and extended family.
Planning as far ahead as possible and allowing for some flexibility can be enough to head off many disputes. However, when fights are unavoidable, it may be time to contact your family attorney to make sure custody and visitation orders are enforced and you get the quality time with your child that you both need. Talk to your Missouri family law attorney about planning for Christmas and how to handle potential visitation disputes.
Why is Christmas So Stressful for Child Visitation Schedules?!
Christmas can be a stressful event all around. A lot of the stress around the holidays is based on expectations of a perfect holiday and money worries. Wintertime expenditures may be higher, together with the expenses for holiday trips, travel, and presents for family, friends, and even coworker gift exchanges. Planning for family holiday events means working with tough schedules, getting family together from all over the country, peak travel season, weather contingencies, and shopping hassles.
Another issue that can increase the risk of child custody disputes is having more family around than usual. Parents who have gone through mediation or child custody negotiations one-on-one can often come to an agreement that works for both of them. When grandparents, in-laws, and other family members who always know best come around, they can stoke the fires of discontent, increasing the likelihood of conflict.
Child Custody and Visitation Schedules
Planning in advance can help avoid many of the custody and visitation disputes that arise over longer breaks like winter recess for Christmas, Hanukkah, or other winter holidays. During a divorce or separation, parents should work together to create a visitation and custody schedule that allows for quality time with both parents.
Sharing Winter Holiday Parenting Time
One benefit of Christmas over other holidays is that most kids have a longer period of time off from school and parents can often take a longer period of time for vacation. This makes it possible for parents to share visitation time over Christmas and the winter holidays. For example, with a two-week winter break, parents can split the time up one week each to spend with the child. This allows time to spend time with family, open presents, or participate in other family traditions.
Expect Last-Minute Changes in the Winter
Winter comes with the expected downsides of cold weather, shorter days, and keeping people cooped up inside all day, and it can include colds, the flu, and other illnesses. This can have a real impact on visitation and parenting time. Even if you have a trip planned for months in advance, a child coming down with the flu can mean canceling your travel plans.
When a child gets sick right before it is time to go see the other parent, it may not be the parent's fault and both parents should work together to prioritize the child's well-being. Both parents should also be flexible in re-arranging time to make sure both parents get time with the child even if the visitation schedule does not work out because of an illness.
Christmas and Winter Holiday Parenting Time Disputes
If you and the other parent get into a child custody or visitation dispute over Christmas or other holiday, talk to your Missouri family law attorney for options and ways to resolve your parenting time disputes. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today. You can reach us by phone at (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.