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Questions About Child Custody During Holidays

Happy Holidays from your friends at the law firm of Fausone Bohn, LLP! Usually this time of year, our Family Law department receives a mix of questions from divorcing spouses regarding their parenting time agreements. So, Abby Richards one of Fausone Bohn's Family Lawyers will answer a few general questions that will hopefully give you an idea of how to operate within those agreements.

"My ex-spouse and I agreed on visitation during the holidays. Can they cancel?"

Unfortunately, your spouse can cancel. What will control this is your last order entered with the Court, which discusses holiday parenting time. While it's great that your ex-spouse and you were able to reach an agreement - which we always recommend couples do especially this year - if someone changes their mind, unfortunately, you have to go back to the last order.

"What if holiday visitation periods overlap?"

An interesting question, but this is not very common. A specific example of this conflict would be if Thanksgiving and Hannukah overlapped. In that case, as mentioned previously, your last order entered is what controls.

If that order is unclear, then we encourage your spouse and you to try and reach an agreement. Try to figure out a custody parenting schedule that works for your ex-spouse and yourself, but also works for your child.

"Can my ex-spouse change visitation during the holidays due to work conflicts?"

They cannot reschedule visitation agreements due to work conflicts. This may sound like a broken record, but the last order entered is what your visitation schedules need to follow. If your agreement, for example, states you have parenting time for the first half of Christmas, but your ex-spouse is busy and they can't get to you, well tough, that order is what controls visitation.

We always recommend communicating and talking with your ex-spouse when determining child custody schedules to try and make sure situations like these are avoided.

"What if it's my holiday with the children but my ex-spouse's weekend for visitation?"

Holiday parenting time always trumps regular parenting time. If it's your holiday weekend, then you get the kids even if it is your ex-spouse's normal visitation weekend.

Additional Advice

Additionally, the more you can work and problem-solve with your ex-spouse, the better. Not just for the working-relationship between your spouse and yourself, but for your children as well. Seeing mom and dad working together and compromising when needed even though you're separated, is what is in the best interest of the child.

If you have questions about your current parenting time agreement or a current divorce dispute, please reach out to Family Lawyer Abby Richards by email or by phone at (248) 912-3238.

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