Child Visitation Disputes Are Common At Christmas

Any family law attorney will tell you that there is an uptick in calls to their offices, disputes, and questions during the holiday season – from Thanksgiving and through to Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s. In many cases, parents are having arguments and disagreements about where their children will spend the holidays and asking for changes to their parenting plans. Holidays can not only be an emotional times for parents who want to see their kids on special days, they can also be more complicated than other times of the year as extended family and vacations are often involved.

Parents should understand, however, that getting time in the courtroom before the holidays begin will be expensive and difficult. Courts see a significant rise in emergency dispute cases at this time and are also grappling with their own need for time off during the holidays.

Parents should also know that if a parenting plan already exists from your divorce, the judge will more than likely ask you to stick with that plan. The more recent your parenting plan and child visitation was drawn up, the more likely it will hold up in court. However, you may have a chance to get changes made if your children are older or if there have been other significant changes since child custody was settled.

What should parents who run into holiday-related child custody disagreements do? The fastest, best, and least expensive option is to listen to each other, compromise, and make a strong effort to settle the problems privately. Another option for those who want a more official agreement is to try mediation – an out-of-court option that uses a non-biased third party to help you settle your dispute.

Related: Tips for a Successful Holiday With Joint Child Custody

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny