Resolve Your Holiday Parenting Schedules In Advance

One of the most difficult and frustrating problems for parents are last minute parenting/custody disputes involving the winter holidays. I urge you to resolve the schedule of Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, School Recess and New Year's Eve and Day as soon as possible.

If you are in the middle of a divorce or custody dispute and do not already have an agreed schedule in writing or orally (if you trust the other parent to follow it) work it out as soon as possible or call your attorney. There is nothing worse then a lawyer trying to get another lawyer on the phone two days before Christmas or trying to get a judge to schedule an emergency conference because parents can't or refuse to resolve schedules.

Judges start from the premise that the children have the right to see both of their parents during holidays and recesses. Many parents will divide the holidays by who has the first night or eve of the holiday and who has the following morning. Many parents will alternate the schedule from the previous year if the case has been going on for more than a year. School recesses will either be split in half or alternated so if one parent has the Christmas recess the other parent receives the February recess.

All of these issues are readily and easily resolvable if people are reasonable and fair. When the judge has to get involved the court is thinking who is not being fair. One of the most important factors in a custody dispute is the factor as to which parent is most likely to maintain the child's relationship with the other parent.

If you know you will have a problem, have your attorney start working on it as soon as possible so that your judge is not getting a call on Christmas Eve and then you discover that the judge has left for the day and some other judge who does not know you or your case is asked to make a decision.