By Amy Hoch Hogenson and Evy L. Luckett
Beginning in early November, the rush of holidays is upon us. For about 50% of parents, it means either sharing the holiday or having the children in alternating years. If you are a divorced, separated, or single parent with a court-ordered judgment, we want to help you plan for the holidays with a few suggestions.
First, read and re-read your court-ordered parenting plan. Confirm which holidays you have each year, when each holiday begins, and when each ends. If there is any concern or confusion about a holiday, reach out to your family law attorney or make an appointment with a new lawyer to review the judgment. The family law attorney should be able to help you understand the requirements of the judgment and explain your options if the current plan or schedule contains ambiguities or is otherwise unclear. The family law attorney can also contact the other side (your current or former partner or their lawyer) if communication has been or is currently an issue. The lawyers can then work to reach a resolution in the event of a dispute. There are times when lawyers are not available, so what happens then? We recommend you have a backup plan.
If there is confusion on the day of the holiday, then your next step should be to put the misunderstanding in writing. Calling the police may be your first instinct, but usually, having police show up at your home is not a great solution. It may not be fair to miss a holiday you believe to be yours, but you should consider the impact police involvement might have on your children. Police are very good at keeping the peace, but they are not your best option for interpreting court judgments.
Remember to put your children first, be flexible, communicate, and if things do not go the way you hoped, make new traditions and contact your family law attorney to see if changes can be made to avoid the same issues in the future.
The family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal can assist you with all of your parenting plan concerns. Contact us today.