One of the most complicated custody issues after a separation or divorce is that of holiday access. Holidays are hailed as a time to spend with families. If the family is split, who gets that quality family time come Thanksgiving or Christmas? It’s no wonder attorneys see so many custody issues around the holidays, especially shortly after the divorce or separation. The best thing you can do though is to try to be civil and work out a resolution that’s best for the entire family.
Take a Co-Parenting Class
In Maryland, some circuit courts require you to attend a co-parenting class which addresses ways in which you can work together to parent your children after a divorce. Co-parenting classes cover changes in the relationship between parents and children, the emotional effect of the divorce on the child, problem-solving and communication between parties, and how to most comfortably handle custody transitions.
Co-parenting classes often invite adult children of divorced couples in, to explain how their parents’ divorce affected them. If such a guest is invited into your co-parenting class, ask them about how their family handled holidays. They may have tips on what works well or what may have been difficult. This guidance may help your own negotiations and help you keep your child’s perspective in mind.
There are also various online courses that can introduce you to problems that might arise (like holiday access) so that you’ll be prepared for them in real life.
Contact us and let us know a bit more about what information you are looking for and we can guide you toward some of the most recent and helpful online resources.
Have a Plan
When working out the terms of your custody arrangement, don’t forget to account for the holidays. It might be awkward, but it’s better to talk about it now than the week before Christmas. It’s hard to give up your kids for the holiday season, but there may be a compromise to be found. Maybe your side of the family has a Christmas Eve tradition, so it would make sense for you to have the kids on Christmas Eve and the co-parent can have them on Christmas Day. Maybe you can keep a rotating schedule. It’s also important to keep the kids’ routines in mind. Are they used to seeing their maternal grandparents on Thanksgiving or their paternal aunts and uncles at Christmas? That may influence your holiday arrangement.
Whatever you decide, make sure it’s in writing. The goal is to prevent disputes, but in the case, that disputes arise, having the terms in writing will help to resolve them smoothly.
Free Attorney Consultation
Sometimes even with the most careful planning, disputes will arise. If co-parents find themselves at odds, the worst thing to do would be to fight about that around the kids. Instead, discuss the issue privately. If you can’t come to an agreement, contact the Law Offices of Corrie Boulay to help you come to the most comfortable resolution for everyone.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a family lawyer at our firm by phone or at our offices, call 410-964-9622 for our Columbia office or 410-268-2488 for our Annapolis office.
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