Common Holiday Custody Issues & How to Avoid Them

The holidays can be a time for families to come together. It can also be a time that brings strife to some, especially when custody or visitation disputes are triggered.

If you and your ex don’t share an open line of communication – and a custody or visitation issue could arise this holiday season, here are some things to know (and possibly do) in order to avoid disputes and make the holidays as smooth and happy as possible.

Overcoming Common Holiday Custody Issues

  • Issue 1: The priority of holiday time versus standard parenting time

When this issue arises, parents should be aware that holiday visitation orders typically take priority over standard parenting days. So, if your ex typically gets your child on Friday but, per your custody agreement, you get to spend Christmas with your child, the holiday plan (i.e., the latter) will take precedence.

  • Issue 2: Changing holiday visitation

When the set holiday visitation orders need to be changed for any reason, parents should also know that they can alter these plans on their own, as long as they can come to an agreement. Alternatively, it may be necessary to petition the court for an order changing these plans. So, if you know the holiday visitation schedule is not going to work out for you, test the waters for compromise but be ready to take the matter to court now, as the holidays are fast approaching.

  • Issue 3: Out-of-state parents

If one parent has moved out of state and the holiday visitation orders have not been updated, additional issues can arise. For instance, covering the costs of holiday travel, potentially requesting for extensions of holiday visitation, etc. can all be issues that arise when one parent is living in another state. In these cases, it can be necessary to revisit the overall parenting/visitation plan and, in the interim, compromise or go to court to iron out what will happen for the most immediate holiday season.

  • Issue 4: Failing to abide by the holiday visitation schedule

Another common holiday visitation issue can lie in one parent refusing to let the other parent have his or her time with the child (maybe because that parent is behind on child support, for instance). When this occurs, contact an attorney to find out more about your best recourse. One option may be to go back to court to adjust the terms of child support and/or custody.

Contact a Scottsdale Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help resolving a custody dispute – or any family legal issue? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-467-3435 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.