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Sharing Custody Over the Holidays

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyThe approaching holiday season can be a joyous time for family and friends to reunite and celebrate together. Unfortunately, these festive occasions can become contentious when ex-spouses are unable to come to an agreement about holiday visitation with their children. To help avoid this type of stressful situation, you should consider speaking with an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help you find a solution that is in the best interests of all parties.

Court-Ordered Visitation Schedules

When a couple is unable to come to an out-of-court agreement regarding custody matters, courts are required to step in and create a parenting agreement. In these cases, visitation schedules take the form of either standard possession or expanded standard possession arrangements. Under a standard possession order, the holiday visitation schedule will be set in stone, regardless of the distance between the parents’ residences.

Holidays are typically divided between a child’s parents according to even and odd years, so the parent with primary custody can expect to have their child for Thanksgiving on even numbered years and for Christmas on odd-numbered years, while the non-custodial parent will have custody on alternating years. Generally, possession begins on the day the child is released from school and lasts until December 28 for the Christmas holidays or until the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Alternative Holiday Possession Schedules

When both parents agree that a standard holiday order conflicts with family traditions or is generally unworkable, they have the option of modifying the agreement to reflect a different possession schedule. Both parents must agree to the modification and although it isn’t required, recording the agreement in writing is also encouraged.

For some families, this may involve allowing the child to spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other. Alternatively, the couple’s children could spend the morning and afternoon with one parent and the evening and night with the other parent.

The arrangement that a couple comes up with will depend on a number of factors, including the relationship between the parties, the distance between the parents’ homes, whether certain members of the family celebrate religious holidays and the preference of the child.

Regardless of the specific holiday visitation schedule implemented by a family, coming to an out-of-court agreement in advance of the holidays can save both parties a significant amount of time and money, while also avoiding contention and potentially allowing a child to spend part of his or her winter vacation with both parents.

Call a Georgetown Child Custody Attorney Today

Please contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Georgetown complex divorce attorney who can help you and your family create a holiday visitation schedule that serves everyone’s best interests. Our team is eager to assist you today.



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